The Social Democratic Party (PSD) is a movement “Toxic” with whom Florin Cîtu, then Prime Minister of Romania, promised not to associate. In any case, this is what he declared, on September 25, at the congress of his organization, the National Liberal Party (PNL). Two months later, the one who is now president of the party and of the Senate changed his mind.
This Thursday, November 25, the government formed by the “enemies” of yesterday was invested by Parliament. The Social Democrats won nine ministries, the Liberals eight and the Union of Magyars of Romania (UMDR) three portfolios. This new government, unlikely a few weeks ago, is led by the liberal Nicolae Ciuca. Under the terms of the agreement reached between the two formations, this ex-soldier and former defense minister will remain at the head of the government for eighteen months, before giving way to a social democrat until the legislative elections are held. from 2024.
This alliance was “The only stable solution”, according to political scientist Liliana Popescu, professor at the National School of Political and Administrative Studies, to try to put an end to the political instability of recent months in Romania.
The two rival parties have one thing in common: the practice of clientelism, which allows them to rely on a network of elected representatives across the country. However, an important windfall is at stake: the 29 billion euros of the European recovery plan, which will only be paid when a stable government has been invested. It is now done. The Liberals of the PNL will have to co-manage these funds with the Social Democrats of the PSD. “It’s an unexpected gift for the Social Democrats, estimates Liliana Popescu. The fact that the two great enemies of yesterday are taking care of it together still has a positive side: one will be able to check what the other is doing. “
Liliana Popescu expects the European Union to exercise careful control over spending, “Especially with the creation of the new European public prosecutor’s office headed by Laura Kövesi. The former anti-corruption prosecutor in Romania is well acquainted with the local political game. “ Besides the question of possible embezzlement, the main concern of the political scientist concerns the inability of Romania to develop viable projects to absorb European money. In 2020, the country had only invested 30% of the European structural funds allocated for the years 2014-2020. For Sorin Ionita, analyst at the Expert Forum think tank, political instability will persist in Romania: “The PSD remains fundamentally an opportunist party. I wouldn’t be surprised if he ended up pushing the Liberals aside… ” According to him, the two “enemy brothers” have no intention of implementing reforms, but rather to continue to make their clientelism prosper, “To the detriment of democracy”.