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Romania’s Ponta Names New Cabinet, Chitoiu to Finance

Romanian Premier-designate Victor Ponta, whose government will seek a confidence vote from Parliament this week, named his 26-member Cabinet, replacing the finance minister and dividing the Economy Ministry.

Ponta said today in a Bucharest news conference that he plans to appoint move Economy Minister Daniel Chitoiu, 45, to the Finance Ministry, replacing Florin Georgescu, who will resume his post as central bank deputy governor.

“I wanted every European commissioner to have a correspondent in our government to ensure that our goals are met in the next four years as this cabinet is benefiting from a full mandate instead of a temporary one,” Ponta said.

Ponta, whose ruling coalition won a two-thirds majority in Parliament in Dec. 9 elections, was re-designated as premier by his political rival, President Traian Basescu, this week. Parliament is expected to hear his proposed government and hold a confidence vote on Dec. 21, according to Ponta.

He also appointed Liviu Voinea as minister-delegate to supervise the country’s budget, under the Finance Ministry. Ponta also divided the Economy Ministry in three, separating a ministry for industry and trade headed by a former Finance Minister Varujan Vosganian, one for energy led by Constantin Nita and one for small- and medium-sized companies headed by Maria Grapini.

Environment, Labor

The proposed government retained some ministers from the previous seven-month-old Cabinet, including Environment Minister Rovana Plumb and Labor Minister Mariana Campeanu. Ponta appointed Relu Fenechiu as transport minister and Eugen Teodorovici as the minister in charge with the absorption of European Union funds.

Romania, which got a 5 billion-euro ($6.6 billion) precautionary credit from the International Monetary Fund and the European Union in 2011, is trying to approve its 2013 budget and start talks for a new accord in January.

It plans to cut its budget deficit to 2.2 percent of gross domestic product this year and 1.7 percent in 2013 after a gap of 4.3 percent in 2011. It hasn’t drawn any funds so far from the lenders.

To contact the reporter on this story: Irina Savu in Bucharest at isavu@bloomberg.net; Andra Timu in Bucharest at atimu@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: James M. Gomez at jagomez@bloomberg.net

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