The PNL deputy stated that one of his priorities as future Minister will be to privatize Oltchim.
Deputy Andrei Gerea is PNL’s proposal for Minister of Economy. The announcement was made yesterday after the BPN (National Permanent Bureau) meeting by Liberal leader Crin Antonescu, who mentioned the proposal was approved with unanimous votes by the 58 members attending the meeting. “It is an option that we have discussed with the prime minister and it has been agreed upon,” Antonescu pointed out, as cited by Mediafax. When asked if he would have taken over the Minister of Economy portfolio, had he been asked, Crin Antonescu replied jokingly, “It would have been something, to counteract rumors that I do not support the Ponta administration enough.”
The USL co-chairman also said this was a tough ministry in a country whose problems are mostly related to the economic environment, because there are many pressing, urgent and complicated issues on the agenda, such as Oltchim, Cuprmin or the exploitation of natural resources. “For us, it is one of the most important ones, both from the perspective of government agenda and of our own agenda,” the PNL chairman added, referring to the re-industrialization concept as the central focus of the new minister’s term.
When asked if he was nervous about President Traian Basescu rejecting the party’s proposal for Ministry of Economy, Crin Antonescu answered that there was no reason for the president to exercise this “curious veto right” granted to him by the Constitutional Court in Andrei Gerea’s case. The PNL leader pointed out there were “no grounds” for believing “a file would also be opened in Andrei Gerea’s name” (e.n. as in the case of Ovidiu Silaghi, who was once proposed for the position of Minister of Transport), or that a statement by who knows who would surface. “I am not at all nervous about this,” Antonescu continued.
Andrei Gerea stated it was an honor to receive this task and, considering all the hardships, he does not believe it would “burden him”, but he hopes to repay the confidence he was shown. “It is a tough ministry; we are going through a rough period, even though one of our indicators – industrial production – is on the plus side, after a very long time. I know there are still many unresolved issues,” Andrei Gerea stated further, referring to the performance of Varujan Vosganian, the former Minister. When asked what his priorities would be as a minister, Gerea replied, “Obviously, as I come from Arges, I cannot help but think about the privatization of Oltchim as a priority to be solved as soon as possible.” Commenting on President Basescu signing the decree to appoint him Minister of Economy, the Liberal said, personally, he was not nervous, and was convinced everything would go in accordance with the law.
The Liberals submitted this proposal for the position of Minister of Economy following Vosganian’s resignation after being accused of undermining the national economy and plotting in a case which also involves PDL leader Adriean Videanu. During this time, the interim position has been filled by Deputy Prime Minister Daniel Chitoiu.
Who is Gerea?
Andrei Gerea, PNl’s proposal for Minister of Economy, is 45 years old and graduated from ASE (Academy of Economic Studies) Bucharest in 1997, Faculty of Cybernetics, Statistics and Economic Computer Science. According to the resume posted on the website of the Chamber of Deputies, Gerea has a 23-year experience as member of PDL and was deputy chairman of the Bucharest Youth University Organization, Internal Relations secretary of the same organization and deputy chairman. Between 1994 and 1996, he was deputy chairman of TNL Bucharest, deputy chairman of PNL District 1, and since 2002, he has been the deputy chairman of PNL Arges.
He began his professional career in 1987 as automation electronic engineer at Automatica SA, after which he worked as electronic engineer for ICE Felix Computers SA between 1988 and 1992, sales manager at Van Soestbergen SRL for one year, and commodities expert at Industrialexport between 1993 and 1997. Between 1997 and 2002, he worked as customer service manager for Eximbank Romania, and on a similar position for Emporiki Bank between 2000 and 2001 and for Alpha Bank between 2002 and 2004. He was also branch manager at Banca Tiriac, Pitesti branch. Between 1999 and 2000, Gerea was also a member of the Board of Directors of the Societatea Nationala Posta Romana SA (the Romanian Postal Service Company). This is Gerea’s third term as deputy. He is married and has two children.
According to the declaration of assets, Gerea owns an apartment and a house in Arges County, and he has debts of EUR 176,000, as well as an account of EUR 10,000.
Additional changes in PNL
Deputy George Scutaru will be the new leader of the PNL parliamentary group in the Chamber of Deputies, after Andrei Gerea was proposed by the Liberals for the position of Minister of Economy. The decision was made at the same BPN meeting held yesterday. George Scutaru has been the deputy leader of the PNL parliamentary group. According to PNL leader Crin Antonescu, Gerea will be replaced in the Commission on Rosia Montana by Deputy Cristina Pocora, the Liberals’ spokesperson.