Well right now it’s just his proposed cabinet but likely future PM Victor “Skeletor” Ponta unveiled his line-up and gave a little speech which I will translate:
Today we’re talking about a special government formed under special circumstances, to govern until the elections. Our intention in these next 6 months [until the election] is to do a great job so that the people will vote to keep letting us do that job. Right now the structure of the government will remain the same but in November it will be changed.
We will radically change the way this country is governed – attitudes, priorities. As a lawyer myself who has worked in the justice system, I have respect for the law built into my DNA and I will make sure everyone else does as well.
We want Romania to be governed differently. That is to say that the next government will be run from Victory Palace [where the parliament meets] not from Cotroceni Palace [where the president lives/works] and not from Kiselef f10 [PSD party headquarters]. It is essential that we respect the tasks we have been given and the responsibilities undertaken both with European and international organizations as well as the people of Romania.
We will have a zero tolerance policy when it comes to corruption and “clientilism”.
Well that’s all nice and sweet but any time a politician says something 3 times it makes me think that they’re lying and full of bullshit. In this case, the “corruption” angle seems a little bit false right from the get go as no less than four of his proposed 20 some ministers have some serious issues.
Ovidiu Silaghi, proposed Transportation Minister has been entangled for years over corruption and financial shenanigans in Satu Mare, including the dubious purchasing of state-run firms by Mr. Silaghi’s companies.
Corina Dumitrescu, proposed Educational Minister, is tied up six ways to Sunday to several for-profit private universities and has a number of pending court cases related to this still ongoing today. Even worse, the group she leads (the Association of Private Universities) has an ongoing court case against the Education Ministry, which puts her squarely in a conflict of interest if she gets confirmed in the post.
Likewise Daniel Constantin, proposed Agrilcultural Minister, has a number of conflicts of interest especially concerning Dan Voiculescu (a Romanian “baron”). On one hand the Ag Ministry is suing Voiculescu but on the other hand somehow Daniel Constantin has an outstanding personal debt of nearly 300 thousand euros to Voiculescu. What was Ponta saying about “clientilism” again?
And last but not least, Skeletor apparently thought Romania needed a whole new set of ministers, including one for “Social Dialogue” and one for “Business Environment” and one for “Relations with the Parliament” and last but not least “Government Strategies”. It’s this last post, “Minister of Government Strategies” that Skeletor named none other than Victor Alistar, which caused a number of eyebrows to raise (including Elena Udrea’s) because holy shit isn’t this guy legally banned from holding high-ranking government office?? Well looks like the 3-year ban will be lifted in August of this year but whew, that’s a brazen appointment.
The truth is that Alistar as well as about 2/3rds of these proposed ministers are members of the PNL, run by the good pirate Crin “Crazy Eyes” Antonescu. Although no one has stated it as such, it looks like in exchange for Skeletor getting the PM job, the majority of the ministry positions get to be filled by Antonescu with his boys (and girls). Skeletor gets the “crown” and Antonescu gets all the muscle.
Meanwhile MRU and Basescu and the PDL had a laugh because yesterday they were all chilling at the beach and grilling meat while the leu took a swan dive against the euro and now it’s time for someone else to “govern” the chaos that is Romania. As I’ve said before, when the car is on fire, go ahead and let someone else take the wheel (Rom: volan) for a while and then the blame will fall on them, not you. Hell if the PDL had been paying me I’d have told them to lose the vote last week on purpose. They got nothing to lose because unless Skeletor pulls a miracle out of his pocket then everyone’s going to be blaming him for their woes and not the PDL (or at least not as much).
Before we start counting votes and horses and everything else though, first Skeletor has to be confirmed as Prime Minister (likely to happen) and then all of his ministers (still pretty likely). Then we got to see if the USL wants to go “nuclear” and try to take out Basescu in a month or two (as they’ve threatened to do already). They tried that a few years ago and it backfired horribly as Basescu was re-elected overwhelmingly in a special election and got the political winds back in his sails, so to speak.
Skeletor might be enjoying the new addition to his C.V. but he’s an awfully young man with far less experience and it’s easy to get burned when you’re playing with the big boys. It’s going to be interesting seeing what he does here in the near future.