Romania's coalition ends deadlock, to name new health minister

FILE PHOTO: Prime Minister Florin Citu attends a news conference after being nominated to form a transitional government, in Bucharest, Romania, February 26, 2020. Inquam Photos/George Calin via REUTERS

BUCHAREST (Reuters) - Romania's ruling centrist coalition reached consensus late on Tuesday to end a week-long policy deadlock that threatened reform after Liberal Prime Minister Florin Citu sacked his health minister without consulting a junior government partner.

A rupture in the three-party coalition which controls 56% of parliament might have endangered the government's agenda to curb twin deficits and fight the pandemic, leaving it without a majority and prone to concessions.

The junior USR-Plus party dropped its previous demand that Citu needed to step down for sacking Vlad Voiculescu, a move the prime minister had said was in response to the country's coronavirus epidemic.

"Our coalition goes further," Citu said after marathon talks that ended overnight. A nomination for a new health minister will be made later on Wednesday, the parties agreed.

The coalition is made of Voiculescu's USR-Plus, Citu's Liberal Party and ethnic Hungarian Party UDMR. Without USR-Plus, the coalition's voting bloc falls to around 38%.

Even before the pandemic, Romania was struggling with a widening budget shortfall, eroded by years of political instability and fiscal largesse under previous Social Democrat cabinets that have worried the European Commission.

The government aims to lower the country's consolidated budget deficit to about 7% of gross domestic product from an estimated 9.1% in 2020. It expects the shortfall to return below the European Union's 3% ceiling by 2024.

Romania reported an overall 1.03 million coronavirus cases on Tuesday, and 26,618 deaths, with more than 1,400 in intensive care. New daily infections have been declining to under 3,000 over the past week, from around 4,000 in early April.

(Reporting by Radu Marinas; Editing by Lincoln Feast.)

Article type: metered
User Type: anonymous web
User Status:
Campaign ID: 46
Cxense type: free
User access status: 3

Next In World

Australia's New South Wales reports zero COVID-19 cases, fears remain over missing link
Olympics-Poll shows 60% of Japanese want Games cancelled
U.S. expresses 'serious concerns' about Jerusalem clashes, evictions of Palestinians
David Attenborough named COP26 People’s Advocate ahead of key climate summit
Six killed at southern Nigerian police station - spokesman
Afghan Taliban declares three-day ceasefire for Eid celebration this week -spokesman
Algeria to impose restrictions on street protests
Italian judge killed by Mafia is put on road to sainthood
Explainer-Jerusalem tense over evictions and holidays
Siberian doctor who treated Kremlin critic Navalny goes missing, police say

Stories You'll Enjoy