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December 6, 2021

Basescu berates ministers for poor performance

Daily ‘Romania libera’ in its yesterday edition presented what happened behind the scenes, during President Basescu’s Tuesday night meeting with ministers. Four ministers were shown yellow cards by President Basescu for poor performance. Transport Minister Elena Udrea was the only one to be praised, while Finance Minister Sebastian Vladescu received encouragements, the newspaper reports. The presidency’s dry report and the few comments wrenched from Boc Cabinet ministers after the consultations at Cotroceni were to act as smoke and mirrors for the public opinion. Actually, the discussions behind closed doors were tense and concluded with explicit orders given by the head of state to the members of the executive, official sources told ‘Romania libera.’ The most important charge was allotted to Vladescu, who was asked by the president to negotiate with the IMF delegation a raise in the admissible budget deficit by almost two percents, from 5.9 pc to 7 pc of the GDP, provided that the money should be strictly allotted to infrastructure investments. Moreover, minister Vladescu received encouragement from Basescu, who assured him he had “all his support.” The president’s message comes at a time when speculations of a possible reshuffle are intensifying, and the head of Finance is one of the protagonists in most scenarios on this topic.

Despite the official statements, according to which there was no mention of a reshuffle, it seems that Basescu sent signals to three ministers. Adrian Videanu and Radu Berceanu were berated for their poor performance at the helm of Economy and Transport, especially in the investments department. As far as reduction of staff expenses (the main topic on the agenda for discussions) is concerned, the minister of Economy claims to be on schedule. He told a press conference on Wednesday that the institution under his command has only over 700 employees, compared to the 896 it had when he was appointed, failing to mention, though, the doubling of holiday bonuses for his subordinates.

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