Romanian prime minister reshuffles cabinet

Romanian prime minister reshuffles cabinet
By Carmen Simion in Bucharest July 5, 2016

Romanian Prime Minister Dacian Ciolos announced on July 5 the first reshuffle of his cabinet, changing the education, transport, communications and diaspora ministers.

The changes follow four prior resignations from the government and confirm earlier media speculation that a reshuffle was imminent. The technocratic government headed by Ciolos was endorsed in November last year and was expected to run the country until the parliamentary elections which will be organised this autumn. However, the work of the ministers seems to have not met the expectations of former EU commissioner Ciolos.

Ciolos announced at a press conference that Transport Minister Dan Costescu will be replaced by former general manager of Renault Technologie Roumaine Petru Sorin Buse, Education Minister Adrian Curaj will be replaced by former rector of the University of Bucharest Mircea Dumitru, while the post of minister for diaspora will be taken over by the current Romanian ambassador to Canada Maria Ligor, replacing Dan Stoenescu. The head of the prime minister’s office, Dragos Tudorache, has been nominated as interim communications minister, replacing Marius Bostan.

Ciolos said the changes have been made to bring a new rhythm and impulse in these ministries and did not rule out other dismissals in the coming months if problems come up in other ministries. The prime minister said the government is entering a new phase, that of results delivery, and although the ministers have worked well on a number of projects, there have been delays.

“The priority of the new ministers will be to accelerate the delivery of results on projects which have been started and have not advanced fast enough from my point of view,” Ciolos said.

Specifically, at the transport ministry, the prime minister said he had asked for an acceleration of work on motorway projects and a reform of the national road company CNADNR. In May, Ciolos said that he was unhappy with the fact Costescu did not deal more courageously with the restructuring of the company.

The new minister for diaspora is expected to accelerate preparations for the general elections and ensure Romanians living abroad are informed about postal voting.

The nominations will be sent for endorsement to President Klaus Iohannis on July 6, Ciolos said.

Earlier this year, former Labour Minister Claudia Ana Costea resigned following a dispute over the bill on public sector wages, while Healthcare Minister Patriciu Achimas Cadariu also left the cabinet.Two other ministers, European Funds Minister Aura Raducu and Culture Minister Vlad Alexandrescu were asked to resign.