19:01    |    16/04/2010

PM Boc, in check

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The conflicting nature of president Traian Basescu surfaced on Monday again, during the talk show with B1 TV station. The head of state seems to have the need to place himself in opposition with various political issues. He managed to criticize both his former party, PDL, the one that supported him for presidency and the government, the one appointed by him.

 The party is accused of ‘Bolshevik tendencies.’ The government is accused of not operating the assumed decisions to lay off state employees according to the IMF agreement. Prime Minister Emil Boc is in check. Rumors point to the fact that Traian Basescu might even replace Emil Boc from the premier’s office, more exactly to call on him to resign. Most analysts consider these are just rumors. Emil Boc is doing exactly what the president requests and amplifies the themes launched by him (e.g. – the fight against media moguls, the most recent ‘update’). There is no guarantee for the president that another democrat-liberal prime minister would be as docile.

But president Basescu feels the need to bring ‘enemies’ in front of him on the political scene. Right now this need is pragmatic. The government is not working well, more exactly is works chaotic and has no real perspective. No reform was carried out, in spite of the demands coming from the IMF. On the contrary. However, the Boc cabinet claims reforms are under way. The cabinet’s popularity is dropping fast and Romanians feel it. Luckily there are no elections in sight. The president feels it too. He does not want to share the same fate with the government. In order to keep his popularity up he has to keep apart from the government from certain points of view.

That is why he wants to show his disagreements. Traian Basescu announced he would call the cabinet to Cotroceni Palace next week for ‘consultations.’ The president himself doubts the reform claimed by the government (closing down governmental agencies, making the employed redundant in order to reduce expenditures). “I haven’t seen unemployed coming from the state sector. The number of ministries has been reduced, the number of people employed is the same,’ President Basescu said.

Basescu’s insistence on reducing state expenditures could be benefic for Romania. On the other hand Basescu risks losing part of its popularity by stressing repeatedly the need to lay off personnel. Those to be made redundant and their families might not be keen to support the current cabinet anymore, may even redirect their anger against the head of state. The president’s check table is a tricky one.