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UPDATE It's official: Full list of new Romanian government led by Viorica Dancila. Who are the new ministers?

de Editorial Staff
Vineri, 26 ianuarie 2018, 15:23 English | Top News

Viorica Dancila si Liviu Dragnea
Foto: Hotnews
Romania's nominated prime minister Viorica Dancila presented on Friday the full list of ministers due to take part in her future government. Her team, decided by the governing Social Democrats (PSD) in marathon leadership talks today, includes both members of the previous government, and new faces who would replace ministers seen as close to deposed PM Mihai Tudose.

Viorica Dancila, a PSD member of the European Parliament who is seen as close to PSD leader Liviu Dragnea, was nominated to form a new government earlier this month. She replaces Mihai Tudose, who lost party confidence in a power struggle with Liviu Dragnea. Dancila is the third PSD PM since the party came to power in late 2016 general elections.

The biggest news in the Dancila Government, as compared to its predecessor, is the appearance of a fourth seat of deputy prime minister - one in charge with implementing strategic partnerships, "especially the partnership with the United States", as Dancila said today. The seat will go to Ana Birchall, a former European Affairs minister in the PSD-led Grindeanu government who served in the first half of 2017.

The new government does not include ministers seen as close to former PM Mihai Tudose: Marius Nica (European Funds), Felix Stroe (Transports), Marcel Ciolacu (deputy PM without portfolio), Gheorghe Simon (Economy), Lucian Romascanu (Culture).

The structure of Dancila's government, formed of PSD and their ALDE allies:
  • Deputy PM, Development minister - Paul Stanescu (PSD, staying)
  • Deputy PM, Environment minister -  Gratiela Gavrilescu (ALDE, staying)
  • Deputy PM without portfolio - Viorel Stefan (PSD, replacing Marcel Ciolacu)
  • Deputy PM for strategic partnerships - Ana Birchall (PSD, new position)
  • Interior Ministry - Carmen Dan (PSD, staying)
  • Foreign Ministry - Teodor Melescanu (ALDE, staying)
  • Defence Ministry - Mihai Fifor (PSD, staying)
  • Finance Ministry - Eugen Teodorovici (PSD, replacing Ionut Misa)
  • Justice Ministry - Tudorel Toader (independent, staying)
  • Agriculture Ministry - Petre Daea (PSD, staying)
  • Education Ministry - Valentin Popa (PSD, replacing Liviu Pop)
  • Economy Ministry - Danut Andrusca (PSD, replacing Gheorghe Simon)
  • Energy Ministry - Anton Anton (ALDE, replacing Toma Petcu)
  • Transport Ministry - Lucian Sova (PSD, replacing Felix Stroe)
  • European Funds Ministry - Rovana Plumb (PSD, replacing Marius Nica)
  • Business Environment Ministry - Stefan Radu Oprea (PSD, replacing Ilan Laufer)
  • Culture Ministry - George Ivascu (PSD, replacing Lucian Romascanu)
  • Waters and Forestry Ministry - Ion Denes (PSD, replacing Doina Pana)
  • Research Ministry - Nicolae Burnete (PSD, replacing Lucian Georgescu)
  • Youth and Sports Ministry - Ioana Bran (PSD, replacing Marius Dunca)
  • Tourism Ministry - Bogdan Trif (PSD, replacing Mircea Titus Dobre)
  • Minister in charge with relations with Parliament - Viorel Ilie (ALDE, staying)
  • Minister-delegate for European affairs - Victor Negrescu (PSD, staying)
  • Minister for Romanians abroad - Natalia Intotero (PSD, replacing Andreea Pastarnac)

Who are the new ministers?

Danut Andrusca, nominated as Economy minister: A first-term, low profile PSD deputy for Neamt County, who used to manage state companies and is seen as close to Neamt county party leader Ionel Arsene, who was recently accused by anti-graft prosecutors of traffic of influence.

Radu Oprea, nominated as Business Environment minister: A PSD Senator for Prahova county, Oprea was indicted by the Prosecutor General in 2016 for tax evasion and money laundering. A company he controls was known in the past for a large number of contracts with the state.

Viorel Stefan, nominated as new deputy PM: A PSD deputy serving as head of the budget-finance commission of the House of Deputies, he had served as Finance minister in the Grindeanu government, also led by the PSD, in the first half of 2017. At the time, he was ousted from the government following criticism by both then-PM Sorin Grindeanu and party leader Liviu Dragnea.

Eugen Teodorovici, nominated as Finance minister: He has a 24-year career in public institutions, more than half of which in the European funds sector. Used to serve as Finance minister in the Ponta Government several years ago.

Ioana Bran, nominated as Youth and Sports minister: A 31-year old PSD deputy for Satu Mare county and secretary of the House of Deputies. According to local media, she is the younger daughter of Satu Mare-based millionaire Ioan Bran, the owner of an alcoholic drinks enterprise.

Lucian Sova, nominated as Transport minister: a deputy-head of the Bacau branch of the PSD, he has served as Communications minister since last summer. In 2015, he was close to becoming Transport minister, but failed due to his involvement in a judiciary case involving former Constitutional Court judge Toni Grebla. Sova was a business partner with Russian citizen Boris Golovin in the Bucharest-based Regional Romlines SA road transports company, the activity of which has been suspended for years. Golovin is a former Spetnatz (GRU) troops, who settled in Romania after 1990.

Nicolae Burnete, nominated as Research minister: He is the head of the Senate of the Cluj Napoca Technical University. In 2012, he was part of the National Ethics Committee, a body that decided that then-PM Victor Ponta did not plagiarize in his PhD, despite massive proof of the contrary.

Sorina Pintea, nominated as Health minister: She is the manager of the Baia Mare County Emergency Hospital. She was elected in the Senate on PSD lists in the 2016 general elections, but abandoned the parliamentary position in order to retain the management of the Baia Mare hospital. Local media has reported that in 2011 her son was placed in preventive arrest, then sentenced to 6 years for drugs trafficking.

George Ivascu, nominated as Culture minister: An actor, he has been heading the Metropolis Theatre in Bucharest, funded by the city hall, since 2007. He declared last year he is a member of the masonry.

Anton Anton, nominated as Energy minister: A deputy for ALDE party, he has worked mostly in education, especially as a PhD coordinator at the Technical Constructions University in Bucharest. He served as secretary of state in the Tariceanu Government in 2005-2007, then a Education minister in October-December 2008.

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