The state of votes
Government changes, disillusion remains
A promising new Prime Minister shows courage and faith in himself and his team
Andrea Nagy | 2012. November 06. 18:38
After many days of protests in the streets, Prime Minister Emil Boc finally heeded the calls of the people and resigned on the 6th of February 2012. The replacement government, however, began raising concerns from the outset of its incumbency. The people and politicians alike fear that, with the President still in office, it will be impossible to implement major change in the way government is run.
Mihai Razvan Ungureanu spoke with determination about the newly appointed administration, stating that “it is a very young government, composed of new faces, exceptional professionals, people with whom I have worked in several governmental committees.” Motivated and self-assured, he insisted on the fact that his government merits the confidence of the people and that he is prepared to not only support the entrance of a new generation onto the political stage, but also a general reform of the way politics are run. The new Prime Minister has high expectations of the members of his cabinet, which once again underpins his drive to run a professional and competent government. Competence, professionalism, responsibility, decency, modesty as well as an openness to dialogue and debate are the order of the day; qualities which the Prime Ministers expects from every Cabinet member. Mr Ungureanu is starting off with determination and vision. He firmly refutes the idea that he is only acting as ‘ad-interim’ Prime minister, insisting that he will remain in office as long as it takes to resolve the country’s socio-economic issue
During parliamentary debate with the opposition parties, the newly elected Prime Minister affirms having isolated three major responsibilities. He insisted primarily on the great responsibility of the future Prime Minister, an enormous responsibility that he has undertaken himself and which he seeks to fulfil to his utmost ability. Mr Ungueanu also alluded to the responsibility of each and every Minister for the tasks that have befallen him or her, for the implementation of each and every government programme as well as the consequences of potential failure to do so successfully.
Finally, the role of all the parties – including those of the opposition – is a crucial on in the sense that all parties are responsible in equal measure for the way government functions. Mr Ungureanu has a strong reason to believe in a governmental and political solidarity. As he quite rightly outlines, it is essential that an effective channel for dialogue be established between the current administration and the opposition parties in order to better overcome the effects of the economic crisis.
The IMF, World Bank and European Commission signalled the return of confidence in the international markets with regards to Romania thanks to the reforms undertaken since the beginning of the crisis. Romania has this recovered its macroeconomic stability.
Nonetheless, the minister, remaining prudent, has taken care to elaborate the programme of the Romanian government for 2012 in a context of international economic uncertainties. Among the major goals established by the new government is the necessary nature of underlining the willingness to increase civil servants’ salaries – which the Emil Boc administration had cut by 25% in 2009. This shows the new Prime Minister is prepared to offer a better future to Romanians, notably in their purchasing power, even though the effects of the crisis are still being felt. Still with the aim to increase private revenue, the new cabinet is proposing to lower individuals’ contributions to social services. Finally, the government intends to create new employment opportunities and to protect the economic interests of the people such as the paying back of bank loans. The establishment of financial stability, incentive for investment through agglomerating European funds, as equally important steps towards accelerating economic growth. Finally, Romania’s adoption of the Euro in 2015 is an equally important element. The government’s objective now is to reduce the negative effects of the economic and financial crisis as much as possible to ensure the country is prepared for ‘D-Day”.
In conclusion, the new Prime Minister Ungureanu finds himself in excellent spirits, which is highly reassuring. He is clear in explaning that “The reforms will continue. The improvement that I bing is that I am a good administrator who, above all else, works with efficiency and logic.” Romania is on the right track and this must remain the case.
Alexandra Marinescu | 2012. November 06. 18:38
Faced with growing unrest and protests throughout the country, former Prime Minister Emil Boc took the decision to resign on the 6th of February 2012. “I present my resignation as I do not want to cling to my position of power” he explained. The same day, President Traian Bäsescu appointed a new Prime Minister. As a politician, historian and career diplomat, Räzvan Mihai Ungureanu has a more than adequate profile to fill the role of Prime Minister. With experience and determination, he embodies the new hope that is spreading through Romania.
“The arrogance, extent of corruption and incompetence of the current administration will not be rectified behind the facade of a newly elected Prime Minister. The Romanian President, Traian Basescu and the PDL continue to defy the Romanian people.” Declared the PSD senator, Titus Corlat
Despite the change in administration, it would seem that both the people and politicians lack confidence in the government, even though it has been almost completely reorganised. Furthermore, Emil Radu Moldovan, a member of the Romanian parliament, draws attention to the number of votes won by this new administration. In doing so he demonstrates the fact that the current government was elected with a majority of votes, as dictated by the Constitution, but failed to meet quorum in the commissions. In addition, many members of the political class have agreed that this government was formed in haste, responding to pressure from protesters who called for change on the political stage, and without much thought given to the competence of the individuals that would make it up. For example, the Social Liberal Union (SLU) believe it to be an example of political staging and that the PDL is making light of this proposition.
Emil Radu Moldovan, who knows most of the newly appointed ministers, is not hopeful that the country’s situation will improve. According to him, many of them have no experience in the fields in which they are now minsters. What’s more, Ciprian Dobre, the PNL representative for the county of Mures, outlines the fact that it is not normal that the new administration be composed of such young politicians, as this underpins a general lack of seriousness in the way politics are perceived. He insists on calling upon older members, as experience is essential for the government at this time. The media often refer to the new administration as the “junior league”; the average age being roughly 38 years – an all-time record low. Thus, the ‘Ziarul Financiar’ newspaper published an article entitled ‘Ungureanu presents his junior team’.
PSD senator Daniel Savu also doubts the new governments capabilities of improving the situation: “It is impossible to believe that the head of government will not be just the same as Traian Basescu”. He accused the current administration of completely overlooking the message of the protesters and call of the people and having reached new heights in terms of arrogance and condescendence. The senator added that through his actions, the President has engaged in vote catching and does not accept that the people are calling for general elections.
In general terms, the Romanian people have lost all confidence in their government and believe that despite the recent changes in administration, incompetence and corruption with continue to plague it. Senator Corlatean believes the change in appointed ministers whill have no effect on the system as long as the same party is at the helm.
In conclusion, the current administration no longer holds the trust of the Romanian people. The President remained in office while the people clearly called for a change in administration. On top of this, the average age and lack of experience of the new cabinet are raising concerns among the majority of Romanians.
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