Well, it’s been an interesting couple of weeks since I last wrote about Romanian politics. When we last checked in, the ruling PSD-ALDE coalition had urged President Iohannis to nominate a Muslim woman for Prime Minister.
That didn’t end up happening. Instead, Iohannis appeared on television and rejected her nomination without saying why. This led Dragnea (the man who would be PM except that he has a criminal record) to get very angry and threaten to suspend Iohannis similar to how his party did to President Basescu twice during his time in office.
For a couple of days, there were rumblings of “war” between the president’s office and the parliamentary leadership, but then things soon settled down when Dragnea “reluctantly” decided to nominate yet another middle aged Orthodox white man, Sorin Grindeanu.
In literally record time, Grindeanu assembled a cabinet (involving a staggering 27 different ministers) and all were “confirmed” by the parliament as fast as was humanly possible. Normally, when you think of the parliament holding confirmation hearings, you expect hours (possibly even days) of questioning before deciding whether or not to give their assent. Not in Romania! This was truly the lightning round, as most ministers were questioned for 15 minutes or less. I watched the whole thing wrap up live on TV before lunch.
Nonetheless, Romanians are very strange and nervous creatures, and Razvan Alexandru Cuc, proposed (and now confirmed) for the Transportation Ministry, clearly had a nervous breakdown during his confirmation hearing, looking visibly nervous as hell. Following the extremely brief hearing, he literally ran away from the reporters clustered around the exit. Hilarious.
Looking through the roster of new ministers, there are no surprises. There are a couple of old guard USL stalwarts, including Dan “I Love You Voiculescu” Constantin (Environment Minister) and Teodor Melescanu (Foreign Minister), an old Communist dinosaur who last held the same position for a grand total of eight days. Other than that, it looks like yet another group of incompetent, corrupt bozos who will do as little as possible to improve the country.
About the only interesting thing involving the new government is that Sevil Shhaiden, the woman originally nominated for the PM post, was given the Development Ministry. Furthermore, she’s also the deputy prime minister, one of two people who are next in line after the prime minister (and often take over for him when he’s out of the country). The deputy PM slot is a clear sign that the leaders are promoting the individual in question for the top slot, and Romania has suffered from all kinds of sleazy deputy PMs in recent years, including Gabriel “Cop Killer” Oprea and Liviu Dragnea himself. Not quite sure why she wasn’t good enough for Iohannis to be PM but it’s ok for her to be the deputy PM.
And, to be completely fair, the new Grindeanu government does have a record 5 women, including Shhaideh and Lia Olguta “No Kiosks Allowed” Vasilescu. Considering Romania’s abysmal record on gender representation in politics, I guess every little step in the right direction should be applauded.
Now let the incompetence, insane laws, and non-stop grandstanding on political TV shows begin!
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