The structure of the new Romanian government, as reflected in the list sent over to the Parliament yesterday, is slightly different from the version PM Victor Ponta announced one day before, with 9 delegate ministers (without portfolios) instead of 6 and 17 ministries in total, according to the Romanian press.
The lost portfolios are equally distributed among the Social Democratic Party (PSD), the National Liberal Party (PNL) and the Conservative Party (PC). Thus, Constantin Nita (PSD) is to act as delegate minister for power, Lucia Varga (PNL) will cover waters and forests from a similar office, while Maria Grapini (PC) is to take charge of SMEs, tourism and the business environment at the same level.
Liviu Dragnea, PSD Secretary General attributed the PM’s decision to issues that might have arisen with the management authorities.
The decision for three additional ministers to remain without a portfolio appeared to have been made without consulting the National Liberal Party (PNL). A delay in the new ministers’ hearings before the Parliament was initially put down to the tensions resulting from this situation, but PNL President Crin Antonescu dispelled the rumors in a press statement made yesterday evening.
“The alliance is doing very well,” stated Antonescu. “There is no conflict between the PNL and other parties, concerning what the PM presented yesterday as the structure of the new government. We were hoping to be able to start hearing the new ministers tonight, but we didn’t manage to”.
According to the new government list the PNL is one portfolio short, which cancels the initial one to one balance reached with the PSD. Antonescu was quick to appease the buzz created around this loss as well. “I do not think that within the PSD someone who is in charge, who matters, is actually going against what we have stated lately”, commented Antonescu also hinting at the suspected behind the scenes negotiations between the PSD and the Democratic Union of Hungarians in Romania (UDMR) and with Dan Diaconescu’s People’s Party (PPPDD).
The new Ponta cabinet list features three Vice PMs: Liviu Dragnea, acting as Regional Development and Public Administration Minister, Daniel Chițoiu as Public Finance Minister, and Gabriel Oprea.
Daniel Constantin is to take office as Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Titus Corlatean as Minister of Foreign Affairs, Radu Stroe as Minister of Internal Affairs, Mircea Dusa as Minister of National Defense and Mona Pivniceru as Minister of Justice.
The list continues with Rovana Plumb, who is to participate in today’s hearings as a prospective Minister of Environment and Climate Change, Varujan Vosganian as Minister of Economy, Dan Nica as Minister for the Information Society. Eugen Nicolaescu is likely to secure the Minister of Health portfolio, while Remus Pricopie is up for Minister of Education. Mariana Campeanu will most likely be re-appointed as Minister of Labor, Family, Social Protection and the Elderly. Eugen Teodorovici will be assessed as candidate for the newly created Ministry of EU Funds, while Relu Fenechiu is to take charge of the Ministry of Transportation.
Daniel Constantin Barbu will be heard for the Minister of Culture office, while Nicolae Banicioiu is in for the Minister of Youth and Sports.
No change in the list of the six delegate ministers initially announced by PM Ponta on Wednesday: Liviu Voinea takes over the Budget, Dan Sova the Infrastructure projects of national interest and foreign investments, Mihnea Costoiu covers Higher Education, scientific research and technological development, Mihai Voicu deals with the Relationship with Parliament, while Cristian David is to take charge of the relationship with all Romanians abroad. Doina Pana will deal with matters concerning social dialogue.
Minister candidates’ hearings before the Standing Bureaus of the Romanian Parliament were scheduled to start this morning.
Ioana Jelea, email@example.com