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Romania

Yearbook 2009

Romania. According to countryaah, Romania was hit harder than most other EU countries by the effects of the global financial crisis. The government was forced to negotiate external aid, and in March it received a loan of EUR 20 billion from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the EU. The loans were accompanied by conditions for reduced budget deficits, which forced cuts that divided the government and triggered protests among the population.

2009 Romania

At the same time, the fight against corruption was ongoing, where Romania was also forced to comply with EU conditions so as not to miss out on contributions from Brussels. At the beginning of the year, a corruption investigation was launched against former Prime Minister Adrian Nastase, and in May it was announced that seven ministers and four district mayors in Bucharest were suspected of corruption.

Before the presidential election, which was to be held at the end of the year, the government ended up in internal conflict. Prime Minister Emil Boc's Liberal Democratic Party PD-L was accused by Social Democrats of preparing for electoral fraud. As a result, the Interior Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Dan Nica were dismissed. In October, all Social Democratic ministers left the coalition.

Boc decided to reign in a minority, but he failed to push through a pension reform that the IMF had demanded to provide loans. Among other things, the retirement age for a couple of decades would be raised from 58 years for women and 63 years for men to 65 years for all. The union dissatisfaction triggered a one-day strike among some 800,000 civil servants, followed by a protest demonstration with many thousands of participants demanding the resignation of the government. The government fell through a vote of no confidence in Parliament later in October.

The partyless Lucian Croitoru was nominated as new prime minister for a transitional government until the presidential election in late November. But Croitoru was voted down by Parliament at the beginning of the month. The municipal politician Liviu Negoita from Bucharest was then given the assignment as acting prime minister. However, the country stood without a government that was able to implement the cuts for the 2010 budget and open the necessary part payments of the international loans. The IMF announced that it had deferred payments of the equivalent of just over SEK 10 billion, which exacerbated the crisis.

The incumbent Prime Minister Traian Băsescu won both rounds of the presidential election in November, the other 50.3 percent against 49.7 for Social Democrat Mircea Geoană. The Social Democrats claimed electoral fraud and demanded that the result be annulled. The Constitutional Court ordered recasting of certain votes but the result stood. As a result of the conflict over the presidential election, Prime Minister Negoita resigned just one month after taking office. Former head of government Emil Boc was again tasked with forming a coalition, which he presented the day before Christmas Eve.

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