Government crisis in Romania

In Romania, the three-party governing coalition consisting of the national liberal PNL, the conservative USR Plus and the ethnic Hungarians' party UDMR has collapsed. The six ministers of USR Plus announced their resignation on Monday after Prime Minister Florin Cîțu sacked his justice minister Stelian Ion last week over disputes about EU funding and judicial reforms. USR Plus is now considering submitting a motion of no-confidence together with the ultra-nationalist AUR party.

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Nothing but disappointment from the Liberals

The PNL doesn't care about judicial reforms, says

“The Liberals [PNL] and the head of state [Klaus Iohannis] came to power with pro-justice discourse, yet they were the first to neglect judicial reforms. They betrayed the electorate, broke their election promises, and left the PSD's changes to the judiciary laws intact, such as the special department [for investigations against judges and prosecutors, which the EU says must be abolished], which allows them to continue harassing magistrates they don't like. The Liberals and the head of state have shown that they don't care about the recommendations of the Venice Commission [of the Council of Europe] or the expectations of the EU Commission.”

Deutsche Welle (RO) /

Coalition partners are miles apart

Journalist Sabina Fati explains just how complex the situation is on the website of the Romanian service of German broadcaster Deutsche Welle:

“The current political crisis in Romania goes beyond the issues at hand. USR Plus proved to be a difficult partner for the PNL and the UDMR, with too many personalities and too many principles threatening to torpedo the cross-party agreements. ... However, the subsequent indignation of the leaders of USR Plus and of the Alliance for the Unity of Romanians (AUR) has also shown how malleable the principles of the young reform politicians are.”

Krónika (RO) /

Can the far right escape their isolation?

An alliance with the far-right AUR could set a new precedent, Krónika points out:

“In the USR Plus the desire for revenge is prevailing over common sense, which is why the party is even considering negotiating submitting a motion of no confidence together with the AUR. We wish them all the best - but then no one can accuse the PSD if it enters into an alliance with the AUR after the USR Plus, which normally presents itself as the greatest defender of the rule of law, has freed the extremist party from political quarantine.”