Lucian Croitoru (born February 13, 1957) is a Romanian economist. On October 15, 2009, following the defeat of Emil Boc's government through a motion of no confidence, President Traian Băsescu nominated Croitoru to be Prime Minister of Romania. The nomination was opposed by a majority of Parliament, which adopted a declaration asking for his withdrawal, and vowing support for the candidature of Klaus Iohannis. Croitoru assembled a proposed cabinet, but this was voted down by Parliament on November 4.
Academic and government career
Croitoru was born in Otopeni, Ilfov County. Between 1979 and 1982, he studied at the Faculty of Planning and Economic Cybernetics of the Bucharest Academy of Economic Studies (ASE). He holds a 1995 doctorate from the same university, and has had additional studies in the United States, the United Kingdom and Austria. From 1984 to 1998, Croitoru was a researcher at the Institute of Industrial Economy. He taught international macroeconomics at ASE's Faculty of International Economic Relations from 1998 to 2003.
Following graduation in 1982, Croitoru worked as an economist at the Bucharest Well and Water Works for two years. His first stint in public service came between 1991 and 1995, when he worked as an expert at the Romanian Government's Department for Economic Reform. From 1995 to 1996, he was a consultant at Bucharest Investment Group; then, until 1997, he was a partner in a research project within the framework of the 1995 Phare programme of the European Union. He was also a research partner in the 1998 Phare framework project, from January 2001 to May 2002. These focused on public finance problems in transition countries of Central and Eastern Europe.
Meanwhile, from January to September 1998, he was chief adviser to Finance Minister Daniel Dăianu. Starting that October, and until September 2003, he was adviser to the governor of the National Bank of Romania (BNR), Mugur Isărescu. In 2000, he was personal adviser to Isărescu while the latter was Prime Minister. In 2002, Croitoru became a consultant for USAID and IRIS, as well as for Phare. From September 2003 to July 2007, he was chief adviser of the International Monetary Fund's executive directorate for twelve primarily post-Communist countries. An expert in planning and implementing monetary, fiscal and business restructuring policy, in September 2007, he became Isărescu's adviser on monetary policy.
Prime Ministerial nomination
In October 2009, Croitoru, supported by the Democratic Liberal Party (PD-L), was passed over by Parliament in favour of Bogdan Olteanu, a leading member of the National Liberal Party (PNL) and a lawyer by profession, for the position of National Bank vice-governor. This provoked harsh accusations from the economic establishment that Parliament was politicizing the BNR. According to Evenimentul Zilei newspaper, Olteanu was chosen after closed-door negotiations between the PNL and the Social Democrats (or PSD, who had just quit a government coalition with the Democratic Liberals), in exchange for future PNL support of PSD appointees.
Just over a week later, President Traian Băsescu, citing the need for an individual well-versed in economic policy to steer Romania through the ongoing crisis, nominated the politically independent Croitoru as Prime Minister in place of Emil Boc, whose cabinet fell after losing a motion of no confidence two days earlier. The nomination was backed by the Democratic Liberal Party, which is supporting Băsescu in the upcoming presidential election, but drew criticism from the leaders of the Social Democratic Party (Mircea Geoană) and the National Liberal Party (Crin Antonescu), both of whom are challenging Băsescu in the race, backed non-economist Sibiu Mayor Klaus Iohannis for the position, and vowed to challenge Croitoru's nomination at the Constitutional Court or derail it in Parliament. In a meeting with Croitoru on October 20, the PNL and PSD, as well as the Democratic Union of Hungarians in Romania (UDMR) and the other ethnic minorities parties, told Croitoru they would not vote for a cabinet headed by him, and asked him to refuse the nomination as Prime Minister.
Nevertheless, three days later, Croitoru announced his proposed cabinet, which included 14 ministers, down from 18 in the Emil Boc Cabinet. The list included seven holdovers and seven new members, apart from Croitoru; eight were PD-L members and six independents, including one supported politically by the PD-L. The Youth and Sport, Small and Medium Enterprises, Tourism, Communications, and Regional Development Ministries were all slated to be folded into others, and the Relations with Parliament portfolio and post of Deputy Prime Minister were also eliminated in the proposal. All but two of the would-be ministers received negative recommendations from the parliamentary committees before which they appeared, and on November 4, with opposition by the PNL, PSD and UDMR holding steady, the proposed cabinet was voted down on a tally of 189 in favour and 250 against. Following the vote, Croitoru announced that his mission was over, having chosen the best cabinet he could, and would remain as an adviser at the National Bank of Romania, while an "irritated" Băsescu stated he would not name Iohannis, and would not give "moguls and oligarchs" such as Sorin Ovidiu Vântu and Dan Voiculescu the "satisfaction...of a government desired by them".
Publications and awards
Croitoru has written several books and over 150 articles on economics. In 1995, he received the PS Aurelian Prize from the Romanian Academy, and in 2000 became a Commander of the Order of the Star of Romania.
- (Romanian) "Lucian Croitoru, doctor în economie, de 11 ani în BNR, cu experienţă în relaţiile cu FMI" ("Lucian Croitoru, Doctor of Economics, 11 Years at the BNR, Experience in Relations with the IMF"), Mediafax, 15 October 2009; accessed October 15, 2009
- (Romanian) "Cine este Lucian Croitoru" ("Who Is Lucian Croitoru"), realitatea.net, 15 October 2009; accessed October 15, 2009
- (Romanian) "Lucian Croitoru, omul din umbră al lui Isărescu" ("Lucian Croitoru, the Man in Isărescu's Shadow"), Gândul, 15 October 2009; accessed October 15, 2009
- (Romanian) "Cine este Lucian Croitoru" ("Who Is Lucian Croitoru"), Jurnalul Naţional, 15 October 2009; accessed October 15, 2009
- (Romanian) "Lucian Croitoru, omul din umbră al lui Isărescu" ("Lucian Croitoru, the Man in Isărescu's Shadow"), Gândul, 14 October 2009; accessed May 17, 2013
- (Romanian) Roxana Preda, "'Singura majoritate pe care o are Băsescu este minoritatea PDL'" ("'Băsescu's Only Majority Is the PDL Minority'"), Evenimentul Zilei, 14 October 2009; accessed October 15, 2009
- (Romanian) Paul Barbu, "Baltazar: Olteanu, la BNR, ar trebui trimis după ţigări" ("Baltazar: Olteanu, at the BNR, Should Be Sent for Cigarettes"), Evenimentul Zilei, 8 October 2009; accessed October 16, 2009
- (Romanian) "Băsescu spune ca n-are nimic cu Iohannis dar România are nevoie de un premier cu experienţă în economie" ("Băsescu Says He Has Nothing against Iohannis but that Romania Needs a Prime Minister with Economic Experience"), Ziarul Financiar, 14 October 2009; accessed October 16, 2009
- (Romanian) "Băsescu l-a desemnat pe Lucian Croitoru pentru funcţia de premier" ("Băsescu Designates Lucian Croitoru Prime Minister"), Mediafax, 15 October 2009; accessed October 15, 2009
- (Romanian) "Guvernul Boc 2 a fost demis" ("Boc 2 Government Dismissed"), Mediafax, 13 October 2009; accessed October 13, 2009
- (Romanian) "Presa străină e sceptică: Lucian Croitoru e un bun specialist, dar are puţine şanse să treacă de Parlament" ("Foreign Press Skeptical: Lucian Croitoru Is a Good Specialist, But Has Few Chances of Making It through Parliament"), Ziua, 15 October 2009; accessed October 15, 2009
- (Romanian) "Udrea: Îl vom susţine pe Croitoru să formeze Guvernul, Johannis nu a dorit să discute cu noi" ("Udrea: We Will Support Croitoru to Form a Government; Iohannis Did Not Want to Discuss with Us"), Mediafax, 15 October 2009; accessed October 15, 2009
- (Romanian) "Boc: PDL îl va susţine pe Traian Băsescu la funcţia de preşedinte" ("Boc: PDL Will Support Traian Băsescu for President"), România liberă, 19 September 2009; accessed October 15, 2009
- (Romanian) "Geoană: Voi analiza posibilitatea sesizării CCR; Băsescu vrea perpetuarea Guvernului Boc" ("Geoană: I Will Analyse the Possibility of Going to the Constitutional Court; Băsescu Wishes to Perpetuate the Boc Government"), Mediafax, 15 October 2009; accessed October 15, 2009
- (Romanian) "Antonescu: PNL nu va vota în Parlament decât pentru Iohannis" ("Antonescu: PNL Will Vote Only for Iohannis in Parliament"), Mediafax, 15 October 2009; accessed October 15, 2009
- (Romanian) Alina Neagu, "Mircea Geoană: Lucian Croitoru nu are susţinere in Parlament şi nu va fi premier. Băsescu trage de timp pentru a păstra Guvernul Boc până la alegeri" ("Mircea Geoană: Lucian Croitoru Does Not Have Parliamentary Support. Băsescu Is Stalling to Keep the Boc Government until the Elections"), HotNews.ro, October 15, 2009; accessed October 15, 2009
- (Romanian) "Antonescu despre numirea lui Croitoru: Iresponsabilitate politică. Este vorba de dictatura unui om" ("Antonescu about Croitoru's Nomination: Political Irresponsibility. We Are Talking about a One-Man Dictatorship"), LiveNews.ro citing Antena 3, October 15, 2009; accessed October 15, 2009
- "Romanian Social Democrat Leader Urges PM-Designate To Refuse Govt Leadership", Mediafax, 20 October 2009; accessed October 21, 2009
- "Geoană: The unanimous decision of parliamentary majority is to support Iohannis for the PM seat". Financiarul, 20 October 2009; accessed October 21, 2009
- (Romanian) "Lucian Croitoru şi-a anunţat echipa: şapte miniştri din cabinetul Boc 2 şi şapte nume noi. Vedeţi aici lista miniştrilor" ("Lucian Croitoru Announces Team: Seven Boc 2 Cabinet Members and Seven New Names. See List of Ministers Here"), Ziarul Financiar, 23 October 2009; accessed November 7, 2009
- (Romanian) "Croitoru şi-a anunţat Cabinetul: 14 miniştri, majoritatea membri PD-L" ("Croitoru Announces Cabinet: 14 Ministers, a Majority PD-L Members"); România Liberă, 23 October 2009; accessed November 7, 2009
- (Romanian) "Care sunt miniştrii propuşi de Lucian Croitoru" ("Who Are the Ministers Proposed by Lucian Croitoru"), Realitatea, 4 November 2009; accessed November 7, 2009
- (Romanian) B. Apostolescu, I. Cabulca, C. Toma, "Guvernul Croitoru - 2 ministri acceptaţi, 12 refuzaţi" ("Croitoru Government - 2 Ministers Accepted, 12 Rejected"); Gardianul, 30 October 2009; accessed November 7, 2009
- (Romanian) Dana Piciu, "Croitoru, mandat de fraier" ("Croitoru, Fool's Mandate"); Cotidianul, 4 November 2009; accessed November 7, 2009
- (Romanian) Marinela Raţă, "Croitoru, respins. Boc rămâne premier" ("Croitoru, Rejected. Boc Remains Premier"); Evenimentul Zilei, 4 November 2009; accessed November 7, 2009
- (Romanian) Anca Simina, "Băsescu: Nu le voi da satisfacţie oligarhilor să aibă guvernul pe care şi-l doresc ei" ("Băsescu: I Will Not Give the Oligarchs the Satisfaction of Having the Government They Desire"), Evenimenul Zilei, 5 November 2009; accessed November 7, 2009