ISSN 2330-717X

Romania: President Approves Grindeanu As New Social Democrat PM

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By Ana Maria Touma

Romanian President Klaus Iohannis on Friday designated Social Democrat Sorin Grindeanu as the country’s new Prime Minister.

The move ended days of uncertainty following the Social Democrat Party’s convincing victory in the December 11 legislative elections.

Grindeanu, 43, former minister for telecommunications in Victor Ponta’s government, has 10 days to come up with a cabinet and pass a confidence vote in parliament on his program.

The centre-left coalition between the Social Democrats, PSD, and the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats, ALDE, holds a solid majority in both chambers of parliament.

The PSD chair Liviu Dragnea and Prime Minister-designate Grindeanu announced that the party’s executive would convene on January 3 to vet the cabinet proposals.

The Prime Minister will announce the government in the afternoon and the new cabinet will be voted on in parliament on January 4.

A cut in VAT and a big hike in the minimum wage are already scheduled for January 1, fulfilling the PSD’s campaign promises – but raising fears that Romania’s budget deficit will rise above the European Union ceiling of 3 per cent of GDP.

A 15-per-cent wage increase for health and education workers has also been approved by parliament, while the PSD also wants to raise welfare spending.

Iohannis rejected the PSD’s first nominee, Sevil Shhaideh on Tuesday without giving a reason. Sevil Shhaideh, a 52-year-old former Development Minister was Muslim ethnic Tatar minority from the south-eastern port of Constanta.

In her first public appearance after her rejection, Shhaideh said during a talk-shaw on Thursday that she and her family were threatened on several occasions for being Muslim and her two children hadn’t left the house for fear of getting hurt.

“I was not prepared for this level of hatred,” she said, bursting into tears. “I was born here and this is where I grew up,” she added.

The President’s rejection of Shhaideh angered the Social Democrats, who initially threatened to suspend Iohannis but then nominated a second candidate, stating that it was their last effort to avoid a political crisis.

Sources close to the President said on Thursday that he thought Grindeanu was a better proposal than Shhaideh.
– See more at: http://www.balkaninsight.com/en/article/veteran-social-democrat-grindeanu-officially-appointed-romanian-pm-12-30-2016#sthash.eNEr2HWh.dpuf


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Balkan Insight

Balkan Insight

The Balkan Insight (fornerkt the Balkin Investigative Reporting Network, BIRN) is a close group of editors and trainers that enables journalists in the region to produce in-depth analytical and investigative journalism on complex political, economic and social themes. BIRN emerged from the Balkan programme of the Institute for War & Peace Reporting, IWPR, in 2005. The original IWPR Balkans team was mandated to localise that programme and make it sustainable, in light of changing realities in the region and the maturity of the IWPR intervention. Since then, its work in publishing, media training and public debate activities has become synonymous with quality, reliability and impartiality. A fully-independent and local network, it is now developing as an efficient and self-sustainable regional institution to enhance the capacity for journalism that pushes for public debate on European-oriented political and economic reform.

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