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December 3, 2021

Presidential aid: A reshuffling may take place this autumn

Presidential adviser Sebastian Lazaroiu said, in an interview granted to “Adevarul”, that an evaluation with a view to reshuffling may be conducted this autumn. “For the time being, there have been the first three months, of adjustment. Now it’s time for them to prove political agency and take necessary measures in the state sector. Unless they do, a reshuffling decision may be made. (…) We will draw the line sometime this autumn,” Lazaroiu said. He added that the invitation extended to Liberals to join the government remains open, as the National-Liberal Party (PNL) is a centre-right party.

Sebastian Lazaroiu accounted for the president’s preference for an electoral threshold of 10 per cent as a means to ensure an easier governing process. “The president wanted to argue that, if only two parties and a half were left, it would be much easier to govern. There is always a problem when several parties take part in the governing act. The more parties there are in a coalition, the fewer chances are there for you to pursue your program,” the adviser said.

Sebastian Lazaroiu claimed that the Boc Government had managed to achieve quite a lot in the given context, but that there had been no political will to pass through reforms in 2009, with it being an election year. He added that the Government’s main arrears had to do with cutting on expenses in the state sector.

Moreover, the presidential adviser said that there was a certain dissatisfaction of the presidency with the lag in the implementation of reforms. “Of course there is also some dissatisfaction. The President has emphasized the urgency. We’ve mentioned an electoral motive, but there is also an economic motive. If we look around, we can see the example of Greece and we cannot just stand by and watch. What are we waiting for? Joining the ranks of countries whose economies are going under?”, Sebastian Lazaroiu added.

On the other hand, he pointed to the fact that, at the moment, the majority is much more stable and expressed his confidence that the Government was capable to take daring, unpopular measures even before June. The adviser said that the reasons for which measures have been stalled so far were: political clients, as well as the fact that members of the Cabinet are watching too much TV, in the context in which the press focuses on criticizing the Executive.

Lazaroiu reckoned that budget expenditure should be reduced even more drastically than the IMF urges. As far as the Democratic-Liberal Party is concerned, Lazaroiu said it is important for the party to start seeking now the leaders who may remain in the front lines and out of whose ranks the future president may emerge. The reshuffling hypothesis was also confirmed by Deputy PM Marko Bela for Antena 3 yesterday. “I don’t see this as something really exceptional. Any government, after a certain time span can be subject to reshuffling. We may have some conclusions about the way some ministries are working this autumn,” the UDMR head said.

In reaction to some of Lazaroiu’s declarations, PSD National Council head Adrian Nastase commented on his blog yesterday: “By Mr. Lazaroiu’s words, President Basescu is actually sending us a message and the message is Romania has become a presidential republic.” Nastase also added his opinion that the actual government does not need reshuffling but “mass resignation.”

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