USL keeps mum over Cabinet reshuffle

For the time being the ball is in the court of PNL, the party that has to appoint a new Interior Minister and that seeks, according to party sources, to also replace the Finance, Health and possibly the Labour ministers.

The Liberals met yesterday afternoon in an emergency meeting, a day before the party’s Permanent Delegation meeting where they are expected to nominate a new Interior Minister, after Radu Stroe resigned following the air crash in the Apuseni Mountains. However, the reshuffling of other Liberal ministers is rumored. The PNL meeting was preceded by a meeting between the USL leaders, however they did not disclose what decisions were taken in these meetings. Asked whether he agrees with the Liberals’ reshuffling proposals, PM Victor Ponta said that he has decided jointly with Crin Antonescu that he will comment on PNL’s reshuffling proposals or rooks between the ministries on Friday, after the Liberals’ meeting. “There is no kind of battle within PNL, there is no kind of agitation, of conflict. We have a Permanent Delegation meeting within which a great deal of things will be discussed, ranging from the ministers’ and the government’s activity to goals. (…) As Mr. Ponta told you, we agreed not to discuss now what will happen tomorrow,” PNL President Crin Antonescu stated in his turn.
According to Liberal sources quoted by Agerpres, George Scutar and Teodor Atanasiu, the names of Stroe’s potential replacements, names rumored immediately after he resigned, are no longer in the cards, their places being taken by PNL Prahova President Mircea Rosca, PNL Caras Severin President Marcel Vela, Sorin Frunzaverde and Klaus Iohannis. Sibiu Mayor Iohannis was evasive on Thursday when asked whether he is being considered for the Interior Ministry’s portfolio. “There were various talks within the party, you will find out after talks take place within the Political Bureau and the Permanent Delegation,” he said at a press conference in Sibiu.
PNL sources have revealed yesterday that the Liberals also consider reshuffling some of the party’s other ministers, Finance Minister Daniel Chitoiu being at the top of the list. Liberal sources quoted by state that Health Minister Eugen Nicolaescu could take over the Finance Ministry and the office of Deputy Prime Minister, his place at the helm of the Health Ministry set to be taken by Cristian Busoi, the head of the National Health Insurance House (CNAS). The Liberals also considered National Bank of Romania Deputy Governor Bogdan Olteanu for the office of Finance Minister, however Olteanu preferred to remain at BNR.

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