Călin Popescu-Tăriceanu

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Călin Popescu-Tăriceanu
Victor Ponta la semnarea declaratiei politice privind infiintarea USL 2.0 - 14.11 (4) (15621866127) (cropped 2).jpg
President of the Senate
Assumed office
10 March 2014
Preceded by Crin Antonescu
Prime Minister of Romania
In office
29 December 2004 – 22 December 2008
President Traian Băsescu
Nicolae Văcăroiu (Acting)
Traian Băsescu
Preceded by Eugen Bejinariu (Acting)
Succeeded by Emil Boc
Minister of Foreign Affairs
Acting
In office
21 March 2007 – 5 April 2007
Prime Minister Himself
Preceded by Mihai-Răzvan Ungureanu
Succeeded by Adrian Cioroianu
Leader of the National Liberal Party
In office
2 October 2004 – 20 March 2009
Preceded by Theodor Stolojan
Succeeded by Crin Antonescu
Minister of Industry and Commerce
In office
12 December 1996 – 5 December 1997
Prime Minister Victor Ciorbea
Preceded by Alexandru Stănescu
Succeeded by Mircea Ciumara
Personal details
Born (1952-01-14) 14 January 1952 (age 63)
Bucharest, Romania
Political party Alliance of Liberals and Democrats (2015–present)
Liberal Reformist Party (2014–2015)
National Liberal Party (1990; 1998–2014)
National Liberal Party-Youth Wing (1990–1993)
Liberal Party 1993 (1993–1998)
Spouse(s) Cornelia Tăriceanu (Divorced)
Livia Tăriceanu (Divorced)
Ioana Tăriceanu (Divorced)
Loredana Moise
Children Călin
Mihai
Alma mater Technical University of Civil Engineering
Religion Roman Catholicism
Website Personal website

Călin Constantin Anton Popescu-Tăriceanu (Romanian pronunciation: [kəˈlin poˈpesku təriˈt͡ʃe̯anu]; born 14 January 1952) is a Romanian politician who was the Prime Minister of Romania from 29 December 2004 to 22 December 2008. He was also president of the National Liberal Party (PNL) and the vice-president of the European Liberal Democrat and Reform Party (ELDR), two positions he assumed in 2004. He currently serves as the President of the Senate, second position in the Romanian state, being elected on 10 March 2014, having previously resigned from the PNL party, becoming an independent senator. In July 2014, he established the Liberal Reformist Party.

Early political career[edit]

Between 1996 and 1997, he served as Minister of Industries and Commerce in Victor Ciorbea's government. Between 1996 and 2004 he was a member of the Chamber of Deputies of Romania, representing Bucharest. Between 2000 and 2004, he was vice president of the PNL group in Parliament, as well as vice president of the Budget, Finances and Insurance Committee in the Chamber of Deputies.[1]

Prime Minister[edit]

Traian Băsescu (left) and Tăriceanu in 2005

Following the victory of Traian Băsescu in the 2004 presidential election, Băsescu appointed Popescu-Tăriceanu as Prime Minister, in line with a pre-electoral agreement between the two parties of the Justice and Truth Alliance. The new government took office on 29 December; it was approved by Parliament by a vote of 265 for and 200 against. He became the first National Liberal prime minister since 1937.

The Tăriceanu government oversaw a number of major reforms, such as the introduction of a flat tax, the revaluation of the leu, the abolition of conscription and professionalization of the Romanian Armed Forces, and the accession of Romania to the European Union in 2007. It also coincided with a considerable economic boom in Romania. However, economists criticized several of Tăriceanu's policies, such as the introduction of a "first registration tax" for motor vehicles, faulty management of over 2 billion euros acquired following the privatization of BCR, and, most prominently, an increase in the number of public servants and their salaries, which resulted in a major increase in public spending on the eve of the financial crisis.[2]

On 7 July 2005, Popescu-Tăriceanu announced that he and his cabinet would resign in order to trigger early elections. The announcement of the resignation was prompted by the Constitutional Court's decision to block a set of laws designed to reform the judicial system. President Traian Băsescu had been pushing for early elections since his victory in the 2004 elections. On 19 July, Popescu-Tăriceanu reversed the decision and announced he would not resign, citing the severe floods that hit the country (for example the Comăneşti floods). Floods killed 66 people in Romania that year, leaving thousands homeless.[3] At that point, relations began to publicly sour between Popescu-Tăriceanu and President Băsescu, who refused to meet with the Prime Minister in the days following the announced reversal.

In the view of former President Emil Constantinescu, however, relations between Popescu-Tăriceanu and President Băsescu started to become strained following allegations of Băsescu's past membership in the Securitate (during Communist Romania).[citation needed]

In September 2005, a newspaper alleged that on 9 April 2004, Tăriceanu bought 10 million shares of the Rompetrol company based on insider information[citation needed], shares that were sold later that year after he became Prime Minister. Several other publicly known persons were cited to testify about their involvement in questionable transactions with Rompetrol shares, including the company's CEO, Dinu Patriciu.

On 5 April 2006 Basescu stated that he regrets naming Tariceanu Prime-Minister, and accused him of partnership with other groups.[4]

On 29 June 2006, Tăriceanu officially announced that the National Liberal Party supports the withdrawal of Romanian troops from international battle zones where they are deployed without a mandate from the United Nations, NATO, or the European Union. This mainly concerns the Romanian troops in Iraq (present there following the Iraq War). This position is strongly opposed by President Băsescu.[5]

On 14 March 2007, Popescu-Tăriceanu postponed the elections for the European Parliament claiming that the political environment was too unstable due to discussions regarding President's impeachment, the subsequent referendum, and the fact that President Basescu asked for a referendum regarding uninominal elections.[citation needed] The media also pointed out that Popescu-Tăriceanu's National Liberal Party stood to perform poorly in the elections if they were held at the time.[citation needed]

Tăriceanu at a cabinet meeting in 2007

On 21 March 2007, he assumed ad interim the office of Minister of Foreign Affairs, 43 days after Ungureanu's resignation, because President Băsescu refused to accept the nomination of Adrian Cioroianu. On 5 April 2007, the Constitutional Court decided "The Romanian President's refusal to name a member of Government at the proposal of Prime Minister started a jurisdictional conflict of a constitutional nature.[...] The Romanian President has no right to veto, but he can ask the Prime Minister to renounce his proposal, if he observes that the proposed person does not meet the legal conditions required to be a member of Government".[6] The same day, Cioroianu assumed the position of Minister of Foreign Affairs.

On 1 April 2007, Tariceanu dismissed the ministers of the pro-Băsescu Democratic Party and formed a minority government with the Democratic Union of Hungarians;[7] the government was approved by Parliament on 3 April, with the support of the Social Democratic Party.[8]

Popescu-Tăriceanu's government survived a no-confidence vote on 3 October 2007, following a motion brought by the Social Democratic Party. Although 220 members of parliament voted in favor of the motion and only 152 voted against it, the motion fell short of the necessary 232 votes.[9]

Controversies[edit]

Tăriceanu has been accused by President Băsescu of interfering with justice in Dinu Patriciu's benefit.

On 24 January 2006, Monica Macovei, then Minister of Justice, made public a meeting with Tăriceanu which took place 7 months before (in June 2005), and to which Tăriceanu invited Dinu Patriciu. Patriciu complained to Macovei about alleged procedural problems regarding his case. Macovei accused Tăriceanu of interfering with justice. On 20 February 2006 Tăriceanu declared on TVR1:" I recognise my fault. I didn't act correctly. But I didn't influence justice."(Romanian) "Îmi recunosc vina. Nu am procedat corect. Dar nu am influenţat justiţia"[10]

Elena Udrea recalled that, while she was Presidential Counsellor, she saw a note written by Tăriceanu. In a few days President Băsescu found the note and made it public, saying that "The Prime Minister suggested to me a partnership, but, unfortunately, with our oligarchies"(Romanian) "Domnul prim-ministru imi propunea un parteneriat, dar, din pacate, cu oligarhiile noastre". The note was about a complaint from Petromidia about the 27 May procedure problems:

Dear Traian,
1. I send you annexed a document released by Petromidia, regarding the ongoing investigations.
2. If you have the opportunity to speak at the Prosecuting Magistracy about the subject?[11]

In May 2007, Patriciu won a lawsuit against the Romanian Intelligence Service (SRI), which illegally tapped his phones for two years. He received from SRI 50,000 RON as moral prejudice.[12]

References[edit]

Bibliography[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
Alexandru Stănescu
Minister of Industry and Commerce
1996–1997
Succeeded by
Mircea Ciumara
Preceded by
Eugen Bejinariu
Acting
Prime Minister of Romania
2004–2008
Succeeded by
Emil Boc
Preceded by
Mihai Răzvan Ungureanu
Minister of Foreign Affairs
Acting

2007
Succeeded by
Adrian Cioroianu
Preceded by
Crin Antonescu
President of the Senate
2014-present
Incumbent
Party political offices
Preceded by
Theodor Stolojan
President of the National Liberal Party
2004–2009
Succeeded by
Crin Antonescu