A series of controversial politicians have been included in key positions in the new government presented by PM Calin Popescu Tariceanu on Monday, which is due to face the Parliament vote today. Among them - Defense minister nominee Teodor Melescanu, Ludovic Orban (Transport), Decebal Traian Remes (Agriculture) and Tudor Chiuariu (Justice). HotNews.ro presents you what the new ministers are known for.
Interior and Public Administration minister - Cristian David (PNL, 40)
He belongs to the so-called “Moldavian wing” of the National Liberal Party-PNL and a crony of Relu Fenechiu, a local mogul who serves as a deputy in Parliament and head of the party branch in the city of Iasi. David is the son-in-law of Iasi-based lawyer Mihail Vlasov, well-connected to Fenechiu.
Tariceanu promoted David over the past several years, naming him minister-delegate for the control of international funding programs.
Defense minister - Teodor Melescanu (PNL, 66)
Melescanu is PNL vice-president for international relations. He entered politics in the early nineties and landed in the PNL following the merger of PNL with his political group of the time, the Alliance for Romania. In 1992-1996, he served as foreign minister in the Vacaroiu Government (the now-Social Democratic Party-PSD).
A law graduate, he served in various positions within the Foreign Ministry under the communist regime, including first secretary in the Department for International Security and Disarmament (1985). He has been repeatedly accused of collaborating with the former Securitate (ex-dictator Ceausescu’s dreaded secret police). The charges were never proved.
Justice minister - Tudor Chiuariu (PNL, 30)
Another close crony of Relu Fenechiu, Chiuariu has worked as a lawyer for the Iasi mogul’s firms. He now serves as head of the Anti-fraud Department and also as a lecturer for the Law Faculty, Petre Andrei University in Iasi.
Transport minister - Ludovic Orban (PNL, 44)
Orban managed to impose as one of the most prominent Liberal leaders under the current government. His attacks on President Basescu were rather suburban from time to time, even saying that the had of state “had a cross-eye and the face of a killer”.
He is seen as close to Liberal businessman Dinu Patriciu of Rompetrol fame and was even included in the management of Patriciu’s firms.
Economy and Finance minister - Varujan Vosganian (PNL, 49)
He gained a lot of notoriety in a scandal sparked last year by his nomination for a seat in the European Commission. He returned humiliated from Brussels as European officials suggested he was not what they wanted because of foggy moments of his past.
He was accused - without clear proof, however - of collaboration with the Securitate, but also for adopting extreme positions when he ran another party, the Union of Right Forces, back in the nineties.
Agriculture minister - Decebal Traian Remes (PNL, 57)
He serves as executive secretary of the PNL. He also served as Finance minister in the late nineties. Among his most notable accomplishments: the introduction of a “chair tax” for each seat in a restaurant.
Remes also stood out as a challenger to former Liberal leader Theodor Stolojan, whose election as party leader in 2000 made Remes resign, calling Stolojan success “idiotic”. He is also known for his rivalry with another Liberal leader, Ludovic Orban.
Labor minister - Paul Pacuraru (PNL, 57)
A crony of the PSD party, he became prominent through various media reports about his businesses around the Sidex steel mill, now known as Mittal Steel Galati.
He is also known for a peculiar record - when the alliance of Liberals and Democrats were trying to form a government following the 2004 elections, Pacuraru was the only Liberal leader to salute… the PSD victory in the elections.
Foreign minister - Adrian Cioroianu (PNL, 40)
A current member of the European Parliament, Cioroianu was first nominated to take over the seat as Foreign minister several weeks ago, to replace resigned minister Mihai Razvan Ungureanu. But his nomination was continuously rejected by President Traian Basescu, who spoke of his “lack of experience”.
He is one of the initiators of the lustration law. He is also an expert in contemporary history and the history of communism.
Culture minister - Adrian Iorgulescu (PNL, 56). Incumbent
Minister for Relations with the Parliament - Mihai Voicu (PNL, 39). Incumbent
Education and Research minister - Cristian Adomnitei (PNL, 32)
Head of the National Liberal Youth organization, he is yet another crony of Relu Fenechiu. He graduated an engineering school in 2004 and runs a MA in construction works in Iasi. In 2005, he graduated the National Defense College. He’s been a member of the PNL since 1994. In 2004, he was elected in the Iasi district council.
Regional Development minister - Borbely Laszlo (UDMR, 53). Incumbent
IT&C minister - Zsolt Nagy (UDMR, 35)
Nagy, an incumbent minister, is at the center of a media scandal with all the ingredients of a Bond film. He has been accused of revealing classified information about the privatization of several state-controlled companies. He is suspected of treason and belonging to a cross-border organized crime group along with former Economy minister Codrut Seres.
He was charged in the media of revealing secrets to a network run by Bulgarian citizen Stamen Stanchev. He is also suspected of having warned network members about the possibility of their phones being tapped by the Romanian Intelligence Service.
Romanian President Traian Basescu sent a request to the Justice Ministry on March 19 to launch criminal procedures against Zsolt Nagy.
Environment minister Attila Korodi (UDMR, 30)
A state secretary at the Environment Ministry since January 2005, he stood out due to his critical position towards the Rosia Montana gold project in Transylvania.
Minister for SMEs, Trade, Tourism and Liberal Professions - Ovidiu Szilaghi (PNL, 45)
A PNL deputy, Silaghi is the initiator of a controversial draft law related to the transfer of control over the Registry of Commerce from the Justice Ministry to the Chamber of Commerce. The stake was the 1,500 billion ROL income reported by the Registry annually. The draft law was rejected in the House in March.