Accusations of anti-Semitism used in political battles in Romania

Newsroom 21/11/2018 | 13:14

A former minister for Business Environment in 2017, Ilan Laufer, accused the Romanian president Klaus Iohannis of anti-Semitism after he was rejected for the key-position of minister of Regional Development in Dancila cabinet. Iohannis responded to these allegations by accusing Laufer of “educational shortcomings”.

Ilan Laufer was proposed by Romania’s main ruling party PSD for the key-position of minister of Regional Development as part of a cabinet reshuffle but Iohannis reject the proposal as well as another proposal for the Transports Ministry.

Last year, Laufer was the minister for Business Environment for around six months but lost his position during a cabinet reshuffle.

The Ministry of Regional Development is seen as a key-institution as it operates a well-funded program for local authorities – PNDL, considered a way to ensure the loyalty of mayors and other local authorities of the ruling party.

Following his rejection by the president, Laufer – a jew born in Bucharest, according to his declarations – accused Iohannis of anti-Semitism on Tuesday.

“President Iohannis’s refusal as far as I am concerned is a new act of anti-Semitism,” he said.

The president responded on Wednesday to Laufer by accusing him of educational shortcomings.

“Ilan Laufer dropped the maturity test, preferring to play the role of mouthpiece of PSD propaganda. Characters that make such scandalous accusations automatically disqualify and cannot occupy any high dignity in the Romanian state,” Iohannis said.

Iohannis also rejected the nomination of Olguta Vasilescu for the position of minister of Transports. Olguta Vasilescu is a former member of the notorious anti-Semite party PRM but is currently the vice-president of PSD.

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