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Parliament expected to endorse new Cabinet in Monday vote

The new cabinet of Social Democrat leader Victor Ponta will ask the legislative’s endorsement on Monday, after the parliamentary commissions will hear and most likely clear the nominated ministers.

On Thursday night, the premier-designate handed to the Parliament the official list of the cabinet together with the governing programme for the next six months.

The new cabinet is expected to easily get the Parliament’s backing, after the Social Liberal Union (USL) secured the votes of Union for Romania’s Progress and of the minority’s groups, other than Hungarian. Currently, USL has a majority of 43 legislators but it could gain more if the Democratic Hungarian Union in Romania (UDMR) will decide on Monday to back the new cabinet. Following the vote of no confidence, the former ruling coalition including UDMR and UNPR led by the Democrat Liberals was dismantled. Senate Speaker, Dem Liberal Vasile Blaga announced his party will not back any government it is not part of.

According to the nominated minister for the liaison with the Parliament Mircea Dusa, the economic programme of the Ponta Cabinet aims economic growth, job creations and the restoration of the wages in the public sector and the reimbursement of the illegal tax on health to pensioners with very small pensions.
The USL government pledges to boost the economy by stimulating and supporting the business community and by putting order and coherence in the current chaotic fiscal legislation.
The new cabinet will introduce a moratorium on the shale gas exploitation until the finalization of an impact study on the environment of the fracturing method. When in opposition, USL criticized the agreement signed by the previous government with oil American giant Chevron for the exploitation of shale gas, slamming the lack of concern over the environment. Following protests, Chevron suspended the shale gas activities in Romania for a year, awaiting the environment clearance that, according to the previous cabinet could take up to two years.
Also the new government, decided to place the Agency for Mineral Resources, suspected of previously closing shabby deals for the exploitation of Romania’s natural resources, under the direct subordination of the Parliament.

The cabinet of Victor Ponta promised to mend the abuses and the injustice made by the right-wing governments of Traian Basescu, to respect the laws and to reinstate the constitutional principle of the separation of powers and the independence of the public institutions. Ponta and his nominated finance minister, Florin Georgescu, a heavy-wait of the finances, pledged to continue the agreements with Romania's financial international  creditors and keeping the public deficit at 3 percent. The previous government aimed at reducing the deficit to 1.9 percent, by further cuts in the public expenses.

Ponta and Georgescu are due to meet the IMF team later today in Bucharest.

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