Thursday, October 15, 2009
AFP: Romania names new PM after government collapse
BUCHAREST — Lucian Croitoru, Romania's former representative to the International Monetary Fund, on Thursday became the country's prime minister ahead of key bailout talks with the IMF.
President Traian Basescu named Croitoru to head the goverenment after the collapse of Emil Boc's centre-right administration in a no-confidence vote this week.
An economist by training and currently advisor to the head of the Romanian central bank BNR, Croitoru was Bucharest's representative to the IMF between 2003 and 2007.
His appointment, just a week before an IMF mission to Romania, could help persuade the Fund to send a new chunk of the loans as part of its 20-billion-euro (29.5 billion dollar) bailout.
On Wednesday, Basescu warned: "If we fail to obtain the two tranches of loans, including that due between October and December, we risk finding it impossible to pay salaries and pensions."
Three opposition parties, the Social Democrats (PSD), the Liberals (PNL) and the ethnic Hungarian UMD party had put forward their own candidate for the job: Sibiu Mayor Klaus Iohannis.
The opposition parties who toppled Boc and his Liberal Democrats on Tuesday. Boc is the first Romanian prime minister to be toppled by a vote of confidence since the fall of the communist regime in 1989.
Romania is already braced for a presidential election on November 22 and the collapse of the government has plunged the country into political crisis as it battles a deep recession.
The instability could jeopardise crucial economic reforms agreed as part of the IMF-led bailout.
The IMF, the World Bank and the European Union agreed to lend Romania 20 billion euros in exchange for reforms, including an overhaul of its pension system and pledges to cut the public deficit, which is expected to top 7.3 percent of gross domestic product this year.