Currently on holiday to the US, President-elect Klaus Iohannis has announced on Facebook that, next week, he would publish the full list of advisors who will work for him at Cotroceni. For now, the president-elect has only appointed a spokesperson: the journalist and writer Tatiana Niculescu Bran.
According to Evenimentul Zilei daily, the head of the President’s Chancellery will be Dan Mihalache (PNL), who will replace Dorel Onaca, who has been in this office during the Basescu administration. ‘As a matter of fact, a few days ago, Mihalache went to Cotroceni to see Dorel Onaca’, the journalists say, noting that the future advisors are reluctant to openly say if they will be on the in-coming president’s staff or not.
‘The decision will be made by President Iohannis, I don’t know if there will be any changes until next week because he talks to each of them individually’, said one of Iohannis’ potential advisors, quoted by Evenimentul Zilei.
According to the stiripesurse.ro website, some of the members of the new team of presidential advisors, apart from Dan Mihalache, are, George Scutaru – national security, Andrei Muraru – liaison with the civil society, Cosmin Marinescu – economic matters (replacing Bogdan Dragoi), Iulia Huiu – political analysis, Simona Pop – education, Delia Dinu, head of Protocol (stays on position) and Gheorghe Angelescu, Awards Chancellery (stays on position).
Lazar Comanescu, Romania’s current Ambassador to Berlin (photo) will take over the position of presidential adviser on foreign policy, replacing Anca-Ileana Ilinoiu, and Leonard Orban, former European Commissioner for Multilingualism will be the future presidential adviser for European Affairs, replacing Bogdan Manoiu. The Education portfolio will be taken over most probably by Simona Pop, the current head of the Public Service for pre-university education from the Sibiu Mayoralty.
Intellectuals and Monica Macovei oppose the choice of Dan Mihalache
MEP Monica Macovei is advising Iohannis not to appoint Dan Mihalache as his advisor, as he was one of the people who advised him not to accept the conditions attached to obtaining endorsement for the runoff election. ‘Mr, Mihalache comes from PSD, has never proved to be an anti-corruption fighter or anything regarding integrity. We happen to know that, when we sent that letter with requirements on behalf of my voters before the runoff election, Mr. Mihalache was one of the people who were annoyed by it and told Mr. Klaus Iohannis not to accept them’, Macovei said.
A few intellectuals, including Gabriel Liiceanu and Andrei Pleşu, wrote an open letter to Klaus Iohannis telling him that they had been ‘astounded’ to read a list of his possible advisors.
Adriana Săftoiu to future advisors: ‘Cotroceni is not an apprenticeship place’
PDL spokesperson Adriana Saftoiu said the new PNL communication regarding the new presidential advisors of Klaus Iohannis’ had been ‘sad’. Saftoiu warned those contemplating becoming a part of the Iohannis team that Cotroceni is not an ‘apprenticeship’ place, and that anyone who goes there must have ‘concrete-hard’ expertise. ‘There is no time to be lazy, there must be no confusion between loyalty and flattery. It’s one thing to respect a person and a totally different thing to only tell them what sounds nice. But, as far as I can tell, Mr. Iohannis is a person who equally commands and offers respect’, Adriana Saftoiu told ziare.com.
She stressed that, in spite of the debates in the press, no name has been confirmed and the decision is exclusively for Klaus Iohannis to make..