The National Union of County Councils (UNCJR) on Thursday elected its new leadership: Marian Oprisan as President and vice presidents representing PNL, PSD and UDMR. The newly elected UNCJR Vice Presidents are: Silvian Ciuperca (PSD), Constantin Nicolescu (PSD), Tiberiu Marc (PSD), Titu Bojin (PSD), Ion Prioteasa (PSD), Horea Uioreanu (PNL), Marian Petrache (PNL), Cristian Adomnitei (PNL), Vasile Mustatea (PNL) and Borboly Csaba (UDMR).PSD county council presidents convened at the Senate on Wednesday had decided, with 16 votes in favour and 6 against to support Marian Oprisan’s candidacy for head of UNCJR in the internal election the following day. As UNCJR includes a total of 23 county council presidents representing PSD, the winner was the candidate supported by them, Marian Oprisan. Vrancea County Council President Marian Oprisan competed with Constanta County Council President Nicusor Constantinescu, who only gathered 6 votes in favour. Ex-UNCJR President Liviu Dragnea said on Wednesday Marian Oprisan was a good and correct choice for the leadership of UNCJR, wishing him success in his new position and stating his conviction that the projects had had initiated would be continued and well managed. ‘I am convinced Marian will be a good partner for the Government in general, as an associative organisation, and a good partner for me at the ministry that is responsible for the activity of local authorities and regional development. I congratulate him and wish him success and I hope that, together with the other presidents and all other institutions, we carry out two very important processes this year: administrative regionalization and decentralisation’, Dragnea said. He said Nicusor Constantinescu, Oprisan’s challenger in the internal election, had not been ‘penalised’ by the colleagues who did not vote for him for his recent criticism of a minister of the Ponta Cabinet – Liviu Dragnea. ‘The vote was not against Nicusor Constantinescu, who has worked very hard for UNCJR for the past year. I have worked with him very smoothly as secretary general. But the colleagues thought Marian Oprisan presented more arguments that he would keep UNCJR an important body, arguments that were taken into consideration. The vote was for Marian Oprisan and not against Nicusor Constantinescu, Dragnea said.
Ponta: after UNCJR election, Oprisan will probably be renamed Francisc II
Premier Victor Ponta participated in the opening of UNCJR works, where he said that, after being elected as president of the organisation, Oprisan would probably be renamed Francisc II. Ponta also made another note on the subject in his speech, stressing he would watch from Brussels, where he had departed yesterday, the white smoke that would be coming out of the UNCJR chimney. After Oprisan had asked the press to leave the room, the premier made a funny remark, saying that, like the other one, that was also a secret conclave. At the beginning of the UNCJR meeting, Ponta also said he didn’t find the use of the term ‘baron’ in connection with county council presidents correct and substantiated.
The PM also promised the county council presidents present in Bucharest to vote for new leaders that all the money that would be saved by Health Minister Eugen Nicolaescu through the reorganisation he would implement would stay in the healthcare system and would not be moved to the general budget. Ponta explained afterwards that the main idea was not to close down the health insurance bodies, but just to reorganise them, as it happened with all central authorities. ‘And there is still another thing I and Eugen Nicolaescu have agreed on: all the money, absolutely all the money saved through this reorganisation will remain in the health system, meaning that I’m not going to take it to the budget’, the premier also said, after being asked about the criticism directed at the minister of health.. Ponta was asked if in Nicolaescu’s case there had also been a communication shortcoming as in the case of the former ANSVSA head, he answered: ‘We all have communication issues, starting with myself’. Health Minister Eugen Nicolaescu said on Tuesday that county public health departments and health insurance organizations would be closed down in the forthcoming days. Nicolaescu noted the closing down of all those institutions would save money for the public budget. The health minister also said 2013 would be the year of major changes in healthcare, noting he had the political support for implementing the measures he planned. Approximately 8,000 people work at county public health departments and health insurance bodies. According to the minister, the draft law on the reorganization of county public health and insurance bodies will be out in a matter of days, the measure being designed to curb bureaucracy and suppress ‘5-7-8 per cent’ of existing jobs.