Tuesday, December 22, 2009

AP: Basescu sworn in for 2nd term in Romania

BUCHAREST, Romania - Traian Basescu was sworn in Monday for a second five-year term as president of Romania, and a new coalition government has been named that should lead to the unblocking of international loans.
Basescu told Parliament he wanted close ties with Moldova — Romania's neighbor to the east, where the population is predominantly ethnic Romanian — and with the United States.
"A close relationship with America brings as stability and safety," he said.
Romania's ties with Moldova were strained this year when the Moldovan government — since replaced — blamed Romania for unrest that followed a disputed Moldovan election. Many Moldovans also have Romanian passports, enabling them to travel and work throughout the European Union.
Daniel, the patriarch of the Romanian Orthodox Church, opened the session with a prayer. That was criticized by ethnic Hungarians, who are not Orthodox Christians.
Prime Minister Emil Boc and his 15 government ministers, who were named Sunday, listened to Basescu's address. Many former ministers have retained their jobs. The party that represents Romania's 1.4 million ethnic Hungarians will have four ministers in the coalition government.
Boc was dismissed by Parliament in a non-confidence vote Oct. 13 and reappointed by Basescu last week. Basescu will be sworn in by Parliament later Monday. He defeated former foreign minister Mircea Geoana by a thin margin in a Dec. 6 runoff that the opposition claimed was marred by fraud.

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