Romania’s First Technocratic Cabinet Wins Parliamentary Backing

  • Cabinet of Prime Minister Ciolos approved by 389 votes to 115
  • New premier pledges government will keep 2016 budget in check

Romania’s parliament ushered in the nation’s first technocratic government by backing a cabinet proposed by Prime Minister Dacian Ciolos.

Lawmakers in Bucharest Tuesday approved the new government by 389 votes to 115, according to Parliament Speaker Valeriu Zgonea. Ciolos, a former European commissioner tasked with guiding Romania through to elections in a year’s time, won support from the opposition and the outgoing ruling party, a former lawmaker from which was named as deputy premier.

“The time to call upon a government run by experts is an exceptional one,” Ciolos told legislators before the vote. “We plan to return to parliament by Dec. 15 for a broader discussion on the governing program and new ideas to be included in the 2016 budget.”

A former adviser to European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, Ciolos assembled a non-partisan government after outrage over corruption -- triggered by a deadly nightclub fire last month -- toppled the administration of Victor Ponta, who was already facing a trial over graft allegations. The unrest in the European Union’s second-poorest state has affected central bank policy and delayed discussion of next year’s budget.

The new government must reconcile plans to boost investment with tax cuts and state-wage increases pushed through by the previous administration. In parliamentary hearings Monday, Finance Minister Anca Dragu, a European Commission economist, said the fiscal deficit won’t exceed the EU’s limit of 3 percent of economic output.

Costin Grigore Borc, head of CRH Plc’s Romanian unit will become economy minister and deputy premier. Raluca Pruna will become justice minister, replacing Cristina Guseth, head of Freedom House Romania, who was Ciolos’s initial proposal but was withdrawn because of poor performance during parliamentary hearings.

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