Romania gets intel chief as PM

Romania gets intel chief as PM

BUCHAREST - Agence France-Presse
Romanian president Traian Basescu named intelligence chief Mihai Razvan Ungureanu as the new prime minister after Emil Boc resigned following wide protests against austerity cuts.

“The ruling coalition agreed to appoint Mihai Razvan Ungureanu as prime minister designate,” Basescu said in a public address.

Ungureanu now has ten days to form a government and obtain parliament’s approval. He was trying to form the government when the Daily News went to print yesterday evening.

“Reforms will continue. The added value that I will bring resides in my experience as a manager,” Ungureanu said.

The 43-year-old, who has a master’s degree from Oxford, was foreign minister between 2004 and 2007 during Basescu’s first term of office.

Forced to resign following a conflict with the then prime minister Calin Tariceanu, he was named chief of Romania’s external intelligence service (SIE) in December 2007. Boc was Romania’s prime minister since 2008, when the Balkan country plunged into severe recession after years of solid growth. His government was forced to call on the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the EU for a 20-billion euro ($26-billion) lifeline in 2009. In exchange, Boc’s government took drastic measures to curb public spending, cutting public wages by 25 percent.