Ioana Petrescu and Razvan Nicolescu canned in government reshuffle

Newsroom 14/12/2014 | 20:43

Romania’s finance and energy ministers lost their posts in a reshuffle on Sunday. Also replaced were the minister for the Environment, Education, Communication, Culture, Social Dialogue and the delegate minister for Romanians Everywhere. Liviu Dragnea, minister of Administration and Internal Affairs, lost his position as deputy PM in the government.

Romania’s Energy Minister Razvan Nicolescu said he would lose his post on Sunday in a reshuffle that is expected to strengthen the governing centre-left coalition’s hold on power by giving it another political ally in the cabinet, writes Reuters.

Razvan Nicolescu, a widely respected technocrat who has no political affiliations and whose team drafted Romania’s investment-heavy energy strategy for 2015-2035, took office in March. He told private television station Antena 3 on Sunday he was leaving the cabinet and that Prime Minister Victor Ponta planned to merge the energy and economy ministries.

Ponta’s coalition was weakened by the departure of the ethnic Hungarian UDMR party after he unexpectedly lost a presidential election on Nov. 16.

Ioana Petrescu was appointed Minister of Public Finances in March 2014. Previously she filled the position of fiscal counselor for Victor Ponta and is only 34 years old, a fact that has caused many eyebrows to rise. The PM said at the time that even though Petrescu is very young, she has plenty of experience in the field.

The Parliament is due to sanction the reshuffle next week with the following proposals Victor Ponta made on Sunday for replacement ministers in the National Executive PSD Committee: 
Darius Valcov – Minister of Finance and Budget;
Gratiela Valcov (PLR) – Minister of Environment;
Andrei Gerea (PLR) – Minister of Energy and SME’s;
Mihai Tudose (PSD) Minister of Economy;
Sorin Campeanu (PC) – Minister of Education;
Sorin Grindeanu (PSD) – Minister of Communication;
Ionut Vulpescu (PSD) – Minister of Culture;
Adrian Anghel – Minister of Romanians everywhere;
Liviu Pop – Minister of Social Dialogue.

The team -freshened up at is in a certain way because 10 or 12 of the ministers have retained their positions – will have to prove in 2015 – 2016 that it can be even better than the old team. Another thing which works in their favor: 2015 is not an election year and we know very well that some reforms that were delayed, some of them more radical, can be more easily employed“, PM Victor Ponta said for Romania TV.

The National Executive PSD Committee voted unanimously on Sunday the new structure for Ponta’s cabinet.

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