Romania's center-right Government of PM Florin Citu takes office
Romania's Parliament endorsed prime minister-designate Florin Citu and his Government on Wednesday, December 23. The center-right coalition Government got 260 votes for out of 455 MPs present - 32 more than necessary - and 183 votes against.
The Citu cabinet members were then sworn in at the Cotroceni Palace later in the evening, officially starting their mandate.
Earlier in the day, the Parliament's expert committees quickly reviewed the candidates and issued positive recommendations. Too fast, the Social Democrat opposition claimed.
Romania's president Klaus Iohannis had designated finance minister Citu to form a new Government on behalf of a center-right coalition of three parties formed around the National Liberal Party (PNL). The designation took place only one day before, on December 22.
Romania's prime minister Florin Citu is a member of the Senate on the ticket of PNL, and has served as minister of finance in the Liberal Government of Ludovic Orban since November 2019. He has been a member of the Liberal Party since 2016.
He was also designated as prime minister in the spring of 2020 after the Social Democrats had overthrown the Orban cabinet with a no-confidence motion. However, he quit a few minutes before the vote, allowing Orban to form another Government and win lawmakers' confidence amid the rising coronavirus threat.
Florin Citu, born in 1972, has served as a senator since 2016. He graduated from a vocational high school in Romania in 1990 - when communism collapsed, leaving the door open to a sea of opportunities.
He later studied at and graduated from private Grinnell College in the USA during 1992-1996. There, he specialized in economics and mathematics. There's no public information on how he got there and how he financed his studies.
He later completed his MSc at Iowa State University and pursued PhD studies at the same university without delivering his thesis.
Before returning to Romania in 2005, Citu served as an economist at the European Investment Bank (2003-2005) and the Central Bank of New Zealand (2001-2003).
After returning to Romania in 2005, he served as head of Treasury and chief economist at ING Bank (Romania) until 2011, when the bank's management removed him in unclear circumstances. He challenged the bank's decision in court. He was reportedly involved in what Romania's National Bank (BNR) claims to have been a failed speculative attack against the local currency in 2008. However, he denied having been involved in that episode.
The Florin Citu cabinet has 21 members, including the prime minister, two deputy prime ministers, and 18 ministers. Only one of the 21 members is a woman - labor minister Raluca Turcan - making this one of the most gender-unbalanced governments Romania has had in the last 30 years.
(Photo source: Presidency.ro)