Romanian Ministers Quit, Forcing Confidence Vote in PM Citu
(Bloomberg) -- Ministers from a junior member of Romania’s ruling coalition resigned, forcing Prime Minister Florin Citu to seek a confidence vote in parliament within 45 days.
The USR Plus party is at odds with Citu and his Liberal Party over a 50 billion-lei ($12 billion) spending plan for local mayors and the sudden sacking of the justice minister. The party’s withdrawal from the three-member alliance would most probably leave the premier heading a minority cabinet. President Klaus Iohannis will meet USR leaders on Tuesday after he backed Citu in a Facebook post over the weekend.
The latest crisis further weakened the leu, already Europe’s worst performing currency, to a new record low against the euro. The yields on the country’s 10-year leu-denominated bonds rose to a record high 4.07% on Tuesday.
Monday’s step by USR is a response to a separate attempt last week to bring about a no-confidence motion that became stuck in parliament.
Ludovic Orban, parliament speaker and current Liberal leader who’s running against Citu for the party leadership, said he’s planning to find a constitutional way to schedule the vote despite attempts from lawmakers to delay the procedure.
“The Liberals have to decide now if they want to continue the reforms we started or seek a new alliance with the Social Democrats,” USR party leader Dan Barna said, referring to the main opposition party.
Under the constitution, Citu must ask lawmakers for a re-approval of his cabinet. But despite being backed by his party and the other coalition member, he’d have to win the vote without controlling a majority in parliament. USR has said it wants to continue in the coalition but without Citu as prime minister.
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