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New Romanian president may be blocked by old politics

Monday, February 23, 2015

Significance

The nomination is disappointing as SRI cooperates with justice agencies in combating corruption: Hellvig, a former development minister forced to resign in 2013 for conflict of interest, was connected with jailed media baron Dan Voiculescu and former National Liberal Party (PNL) leader Crin Antonescu, a notable opponent of reform. Iohannis is groping for a strategy to keep alive his electoral promise of political renewal and state reform in one of the worst-governed countries in the former communist bloc.

Impacts

  • The chances of Ponta continuing in office are increasing despite his unpopularity and lack of interest in political reform.
  • Pro-reform Romanians may start looking beyond Iohannis and the PNL for change.
  • The EU is likely to maintain its vigilance towards Romania and continue opposing admitting it to the Schengen zone.
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