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May 20, 2022

PM Boc says no steps on government reshuffle have been taken

Oprea denies UNPR being after more positions with the Cabinet.

After the Government denied planning on a reshuffle, Tuesday night, several representatives of the power were very eager to reinforce the fact that the current structure of the Executive should not be changed. The first to do that was PM Emil Boc himself. ‘I have not taken any institutional steps between the Government and president in view of a government reshuffle,’ Boc said yesterday, while on a visit to Prahova County. Asked if he was pleased with all the members of his Cabinet, Boc avoided giving a straight answer: ‘I think I’ve just answered this question,’ he said.

Deputy Prime-Minister Marko Bela also told RFI yesterday that, in his view, there are no reasons for a government reshuffle right now and that none of the UDMR ministers ought to be replaced anyway. If we think about the reshuffle idea as changing some of the ministers, I would say we’ve already had a certain reshuffle as we went. If you just look at the list of ministers, you will see it is a lot different to the initial one at the end of 2009. There are four of us in the Government: the minister of culture, the minister of environment, the minister of health and a deputy-premier. There has recently been a change, but not because we were unhappy with the work of the health minister, bur rather because he came to the conclusion that resigning was the best thing for him. No, at this point no one is dissatisfied,’ said the deputy PM.

Over the last couple of days, the mass-media has been pointing out that a reshuffle was likely also because of the growing number of MPs of the National Union for the Progress of Romania (UNPR) who is reportedly demanding more positions in the Government. According to Hotnews, UNPR wants the Ministry of Interior and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. UNPR Executive President Gabriel Oprea called into a B1 TV show Tuesday evening to deny that his party had demanded any additional ministries in the Boc Government. ‘We are not demanding positions in the Government and never have,’ Oprea said. Yesterday, Oprea called the so-called UNPR demands ‘pure inventions’.

‘There are probably some people interested to agitate spirits and even set the coalition partners one against the other (…). UNPR puts national interest first and supports this Government for the sake of stability and not for the sake of positions,’ Gabriel Oprea says, according to a press release quoted by Mediafax.

The list of possibly replaceable members of the Cabinet also contained Education Minister Daniel Funeriu, Valeriu Tabara (Agriculture), Ion Ariton (Economy), Gheorghe Ialomitianu (Finance) and Teodor Baconschi (Foreign Affairs).

Funeriu said that, as far as he was concerned, he had a reform which he was prepared to continue implementing until the very last day of his term. ‘In what concerns government reshuffles, I have always had the same position which I am keeping: a reshuffle is the exclusive prerogative of the prime-minister. Any minister in any democratic country in the world can be replaced after his first day in office. As far as I am concerned, I have a reform to do and I will do that from the first to the last day of my term,’ Funeriu said, quoted by Mediafax.

The PDL leaders and local organization leaders decided during their meeting at Villa Lac, on Sunday night, to mandate the PM to decide together with President Basescu on a possible government reshuffle. Participating sources say the reshuffle subject was put under the ‘Miscellanea’ heading of the meeting agenda, after party Secretary General Ioan Oltean had said it would be a good idea if the Democrat-Liberals would refrain from making any more public statements on the matter.

On the other hand, although Radu Berceanu and Sever Voinescu pointed out that a political decision by the party on the reshuffle would be necessary as well, a decision made with a majority of favourable votes and just six or seven opposed that the prime-minister would decide on that together with the president, the sources said.

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