Tag Archives: government

Romania’s Prime Minister Resigns. But on the streets the protests go on !

Romanian Prime Minister Victor Ponta announced the resignation of his government Wednesday following huge protests in the wake of a nightclub fire that killed more than 30 people.

Romanians fill the Calea Victoriei, a main avenue of the Romanian capital, during a large protest in Bucharest, Romania, Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2015. More than 10,000 marched down the city's main boulevards and then massed outside the government offices Tuesday evening calling for the resignation of Prime Minister Victor Ponta, Interior Minister Gabriel Oprea and the mayor of the district where the Colectiv nightclub, the venue of a deadly fire last week, was located.(AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda)

Romanians fill the Calea Victoriei, a main avenue of the Romanian capital, during a large protest in Bucharest, Romania, Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2015. More than 10,000 marched down the city’s main boulevards and then massed outside the government offices Tuesday evening calling for the resignation of Prime Minister Victor Ponta, Interior Minister Gabriel Oprea and the mayor of the district where the Colectiv nightclub, the venue of a deadly fire last week, was located.(AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda)

“I’m handing in my mandate, I’m resigning, and implicitly my government too” Ponta said in a statement. He said the government would stay on until a new one is in place. “I am obliged to take note of the legitimate grievances which exist in society” said Ponta.

Although former Prime Minister said: “I hope handing in my and my government’s mandate will satisfy the demands of protesters”, the protests continue in Romania’s capital and the main cities. People ask about the Parliament resign and early elections. Romania is scheduled to hold parliamentary elections in December 2016, but some are now predicting that they could be held as early as the spring, with an interim cabinet in place until then.

About 20,000 people took to the streets of Bucharest on Tuesday evening in a spontaneous protest calling for the resignation of Ponta, the interior minister, Gabriel Oprea, and the mayor of the district where the Colectiv nightclub was located.

UPDATE:  As protests in Romania continue, despite the resignation of Prime Minister Victor Ponta, it has become clear that Cioloș will take over as prime minister until elections are held in December 2016, said Euroactiv.com.

”Having the former Commissioner in charge seems like a good idea. Not only will it be seen well in Brussels, but Cioloș is one of the rare public figures in Romania who is not perceived as corrupt. Indeed, Cioloș didn’t spend much time in public office in Romania. Before becoming Commissioner in 2009, he worked for the European Commission’s delegation to Romania, and before that, as a scholar on internships in France. His wife Valérie is French.”

Romania – China strategic partnership: from an agenda of good intentions to concrete results ?

At the beginning of midsummer agenda of Romanian Prime Minister Victor Ponta included an Asian tour, during which he had several bilateral meetings among the most significant being the counterpart Chinese Li Keqiang, the head of government in Hong Kong Leung Chun-ying and even the new president of China, Xi Jinping.

And after returning to the motherland, a european country in official document but “balkan” in behavior and attitude within its essential institutional cell, media agenda divided between presidential &government team – with a multitude of accusations, without apology but with more emphasis and explanations that went down to the proletarian propaganda (a sign that to the government level, communication remained somewhere in the century past). Much, less ? With warrant or without warrant from the Cotroceni Palace ? With or without businessmen delegation ? With or without a detailed plan previously established by the diplomatic steps? The truth, as usual, seems to be somewhere in the middle. And the answers to these questions do not alter the existing reality.

We havea partnership.How will manage it?

From all these issues surface about which nobody will remember after five or ten years, we have one thing certain, and positive: the opening (or re-opening) a diplomatic landing, systematically neglected the last twenty years – Asia, with overlooking to the main global player in the Asia-Pacific and the second in the world economy (even if in serious crisis and creaking from its all joints): China. Romania, through its fleeting executive leader, has achieved a very important goal for Romania, which is the first in East-European area that won a meeting with Chinese President and Prime Minister, quickly after they took their office“, and now has an affirmative agenda with the economic giant that seems to make the rules of the geopolitical games of the XXI century. Is thissomethingto be condemned ?

Rather I think we should see how we can to materialize all these statements of good intent. How many of the investments of the Secretariat China Eastern Europe (program initiated by former Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao, in which Romania has become one of the countries that aimed at access resources from the $ 10 billion budget provided by the Chinese side) will focus on Romania and how many will also bear fruit? Do we have laws that provide a business climate if not attractive at least normal? How do we solve institutionalized corruption that makes to the most stoic investor to run out? But the frauds of fiscal field? How many of the current ministers are actually able to manage the country’s interest in such projects? There are some questions to which the Prime Minister should think a little more than to the superficial discord generated by oversized egos (his own and of the President, of course).

We have strengths. How will use them?

Moreover, we have a well thought and strategic plan, rooted in economic reality of the country concerning targeted partnerships? Or will usually accept any crumb that they offer, because we are unable to use our own strengths? Latter option seems unfortunately very likely.

And to convince me that I’m wrong, the Ponta cabinet ministers (headed even with him) should explain to the public what kind of approach strategy they have. The fact that we have projects and opportunities is important and nothing. We are not only ones who have. Right, we are now outside the euro zone turmoil. But to claim thatwe will open the gates of Europe for China” is a PM`s teenage arrogance“, as funny as that of jumping over the linein diplomatic meetings. And it’s not enough a partnership, even beautifully packaged and labeled “strategic.” Romania has also other strategic partnerships with leading global players. But concrete results of these partnerships are still awaited, for a long time.

China CNOOCIn the book “China’s Choice” Hugh White reiterates the main economic partnership XXI century relationship between the U.S. and China, suggesting the need for a new vision and approach and arguing with figures why is necessary to waive the existing status quo practiced by the United States and to avoid strategic rivalry could prove harmful to United States interests, and by extension to the entire world economy. Regarding Romania, there is no question of rivalry, but that of necessity. Not just ours (as was the case with U.S. partnership, which combined with the incompetence of our government gave a logical result – we are rather “with losses” than with significant gains! I remember about because it are clamed intensive the infrastructure projects led by Minister Sova).  And if we talk about investments in energy, I suppose that the Minister Nita`s experts fully understand that the growth pattern of China’s planned investments aimed strictly needs to compensate their shortcomings. Specifically, Chinese energy companies are obliged to seek profits overseas to compensate their lamentable businesses at home.

Recently, in an analysis, published by Quartz, expert Steve LeVine noted that “China is nowhere near self-sufficient in energy, so companies like PetroChina and Sinopec must import much of the country’s oil. They’re also highly vulnerable to fluctuations in world energy prices, unable to pass on increases to consumers because of government price caps, as such losses will be transferred elsewhere”. Meanwhile, energy companies from China also want to gain financially by the sale of oil and gas (that they produce abroad) on world markets, competing with giants like BP, Chevron or ExxonMobil. I think we should know where Romania stand in this amalgam of giant interests. And what are the practical and pragmatic criteria by which we choose our partners, apart from the traditional “bribecharged by various politicians?

When also a strategic partnership with Romania?

And there’s something else to think about: will have someday the wisdom to not bury every viable projects of predecessors just because they belong to the opposite camp? Because that’s exactly what all governments have done in the last two decades with a fervor  worthy of a better cause.

We will learn to be flexible and open-minded, more attached to the fund and not the form, if the fund aims to benefit others – more to the detriment of unique and personal interest? I watch to the Romanian political scene and if tomorrow someone should replace the Prime Minister Ponta, I’m unable to nominate someone who fulfills those criteria. Basic criteria.

I think before to fight on statements about who and how many strategic partnerships (which, I reiterate, it’s not a bad thing!) have signed with world heavyweights, Romania’s top politicians, with direct reference to the prime minister and president, would be good to think a strategic partnership with their country. Because, although it’s not a monument of intelligence in its entirety, Romanian people understand that the huge wealth of politicians, is not collected of wages paid by the Romanian taxpayer, but from the other “benefits” of their statute that would not had access without its vote. As such is entitled to priority as a strategic partner.

Published by Cadran Politic, July 2013. Romanian version here.

Change of government to Bucharest

Government of Romania led by Mihai Razvan Ungureanu was dismissed. Ungureanu Government has not passed the censure motion initiated by the Opposition, who received 235 votes today in the plenary hall of the Palace of Parliament. There were only nine votes against the motion, the deputies of power party preferring to not go to the polls. Following this result, under Article 110 of the Constitution, the Government has lost the confidence of Parliament. Government led by MRUngureanu survived only 75 days in office and managed to make too little of what it proposed and what is expected of it. Is the shortest term of a prime minister in the last 20 years.

Note that in recent weeks, Liberal Democratic Party (in power) lost many MPs which have decided to go into opposition. Former Prime Minister and LDP leader Emil Boc said that “government dismissal is a victory of political transits from one party to another”. Asked if the current coalition will present at consultations at Cotroceni Palace with another proposal of Prime Minister, leader LDP Emil Boc said that “coalition no longer exists at this time”, accusing of betrayal to national minorities group in Parliament.

The International Monetary Fund delegation which is visiting in Romania has canceled official meetings until will be clarified the political situation. Romanian President Traian Basescu called on leaders of political parties for consultation about the nomination of a new Prime Minister. Honorary President of Social Democratic Party, ex-President Ion Iliescu said on Radio France International statement, that the motion′s victory is “the confirmation of a mess the current administration”. According with the National Liberal Party and opposition leader, Crin Antonescu: “President Traian Basescu should take into account the new reality of Romanian politics when deciding whom entrusted with the responsibility of a new government”.

One of opposition leader nominated to form new government

UPDATE: President Traian Basescu consultations with representatives of the

Victor Ponta, leader of Social Democratic Party

Liberal Democratic Party have took 5 minutes. Finally, LDP leader, Emil Boc said that the party has not made any proposal to Prime Minister. LDP leaders hope that by passing in opposition, the party will be able to recover on the perspective of parliamentary elections in November. Also 5 minutes were required the leaders of alliance Social Liberal Union to notify the President TB that they are ready to assume the country’s government, and the nomination for the chair of  prime minister is the leader of the Social Democratic Party, Victor Ponta. Social Liberal Union brings together the National Liberal, Social Democratic and Conservative Party. It is expected until the end of the day Romanian President to announce who will nominate to form new government.

UPDATE_2: Romanian President Traian Basescu nominated the leader of Social Democratic Party, Victor Ponta, as premier. The new prime minister has 10 days to form a new executiv cabinet that will be presented at the investiture in Parliament. Ponta said that he already has a list of potential ministers. Normally, the IMF representatives will continue their evaluation mission.