04BUCHAREST3524 / 2004-12-27 15:06:00
Embassy Bucharest
                C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 03 BUCHAREST 003524 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 12/27/2014 
     B. B) BUCHAREST 3512 
     C. C) BUCHAREST 3479 
1. (C) Summary.  Prime Minister designate Calin Popescu 
Tariceanu announced his proposed cabinet December 26, with 
parliament's vote of confidence on the list likely to take 
place as early as December 28.  Many of the proposed 
ministers are relatively young, with limited experience.  The 
Humanist Party (PUR), which shifted its allegiance to the 
center-right National Liberal Party-Democratic Party (PNL-PD) 
Alliance late last week, and the ethnic Hungarian party 
(UDMR) both hold key portfolios in the proposed cabinet.  End 
2.  (C) PM Designate Calin Popescu Tariceanu announced the 
new government's proposed list of twenty-four ministers 
December 26, affirming that the nominees were selected for 
their "professional performance and moral integrity."  The 
widely expected announcement came after days of intense 
PNL-PD Alliance negotiations with UDMR, PUR and the Chamber 
of Deputies' parliamentary minorities group.  According to 
sources in parliament, Parliamentary Commissions will begin 
reviewing the nominations December 27.  Tariceanu also is 
expected to submit to Parliament December 27 his proposed 
"program of government," essentially the center-right 
Alliance's governing roadmap.  Parliament may meet in joint 
session as early as December 28 to vote on the slate and the 
program of government.  PUR's decision late last week to join 
forces with the UDMR and the parliamentary minorities group 
in supporting the PNL-PD alliance (Ref B) provides the 
necessary "yes" votes for parliamentary approval of the 
proposed cabinet. 
3.  (C) Although PNL and PD members dominate the cabinet 
list, both the UDMR and PUR emerged as big winners following 
their endorsement of the alliance, securing several key 
ministerial slots.  UDMR President Bela Marko and PUR Senator 
George Copos will each be Deputy Prime Ministers.  Marko will 
coordinate matters concerning culture, education, and EU 
integration.  Copos' portfolio has not been formally 
established, but his title encompasses coordination of the 
"business environment and small and medium enterprises". 
4.  (C) While Tariceanu's proposed ministerial list contains 
many fresh - and young - faces.  The plethora of new faces 
has led many Romanian dailies to question whether the new 
cabinet will possess the professional skills and experience 
needed in Romania's rough and tumble political scene.  Rumors 
also circulated regarding newly elected President Basescu's 
"meddling" in the proposed cabinet, with one leading daily 
reporting that Basescu--renowned for his "hands on" 
managerial style (read: micromanagement) --changed the 
distribution of several portfolios after negotiations with 
the parties already had been concluded.  (Comment: Post views 
these news analyses with caution, since some of the print 
media is clearly hostile to the new team.  End Comment.) 
5.  (C) The proposed ministerial list is set forth below. 
Post provides biographical data on designees except in those 
cases where we have recently submitted biographical 
background information. (See Refs A and C.): 
-  Minister of State (Vice Prime Minister) for economic 
activities - Adriean Videanu. 
-Minister of State (Vice Prime Minister) for culture, 
education, and EU integration ) Bela Marko.  Marko is 
President of the UDMR and has served in the Romanian Senate 
for more than a decade.  During a nationally televised 
presidential debate prior to the November 28 parliamentary 
and first round of presidential elections, Marko infuriated 
extreme nationalists by delivering his opening statement in 
Hungarian.  He gained five percent in the first round of 
presidential elections.  Until a few weeks ago, Marko's UDMR 
was allied with the PSD; he was a mastermind of the PSD-UDMR 
alliance initially formed in 2001. 
-Minister of State (Vice Prime Minister) in charge of 
business environment and small and medium enterprises ) 
George Copos.  Recently elected Senator Copos is a newcomer 
to electoral politics, entering the Senate this fall under 
the PUR banner.  Indeed, he joined the PUR only a few weeks 
before the November 28 parliamentary elections, receiving a 
favorable position on PUR's parliamentary list.  He is one of 
Romania's wealthiest businessmen, holding a major share of 
Ana Holding (industry, trade and tourism).  He also owns the 
popular Bucharest soccer club "Rapid."  Affiliated before the 
revolution with the youth branch of the Communist Party, 
Copos managed to get state aid for his companies both under 
the outgoing, center-left Social Democratic Party (PSD) 
government and previous governments.  The 52-year-old Copos 
appears a marked contrast with the proposed cabinet's 
youngish, reformist bent. 
-Minister of Foreign Affairs - Mihai Razvan Ungureanu 
-Minister of Interior and Administration - Vasile Blaga 
-Minister of Justice - Monica Macovei is not affiliated with 
any political party, insisting when she accepted the 
nomination for Justice Minister that she has no intention of 
joining any party.  She is a lawyer and the president of 
respected NGO APADOR-CH (Association for the Defense of Human 
Rights Romania ) Helsinki Committee).  She successfully 
represented Romanian citizens in lawsuits against the 
Romanian state.  APADOR-CH was a founding member of the 
Coalition for a Clean Parliament, which sought to educate 
voters on candidates' anticorruption track records during the 
2004 parliamentary elections. 
-Minister of Public Finance - Ionut Popescu 
-Minister of Labor, Social Solidarity and Family - Gheorghe 
Barbu is a member of the Democratic Party and was President 
of the Hunedoara county council from 1996-2000.  Elected 
deputy for Hunedoara in 2000 and again in 2004, Barbu is a 
Basescu confidant).  When Basescu took over the party, Barbu 
became the PD Vice President for Trade Union Partnerships.  A 
member of the Chamber of Deputies standing Commission on 
Labor, he focused on problems related to the pension system. 
The 53-year-old Barbu served as a MOD State Secretary for six 
months in 2000. 
-Minister of European Integration - Cristina Parvulescu. 
The 29-year-old Parvulescu has worked in Bucharest's City 
Hall since 2001, presently serving as Director of the city's 
"Directorate of Strategic Planning."  Before 2001, she worked 
at the Ministry of Industry.  She is a graduate of the 
Academy of Economic Sciences. 
-Minister of Economy - Codrut Seres.  Seres is one the PUR's 
most prominent politicians and is the party's spokesperson. 
He was nominated as the PUR presidential candidate after 
PUR's successful local elections campaign in June.  Seres 
withdrew his candidacy after PUR joined forces with PSD late 
summer this year.  As is the case with all PUR politicians, 
Seres owes his political career to PUR President and media 
magnate Dan Voiculescu.  Seres began working for Voiculescu 
at his Antenna 1 TV station before being promoted to Director 
for Development and Strategies at Grivco, one of 
Voiculescu,s most successful enterprises.  He is a graduate 
of a military academy and is an engineer by training. 
-Minister of National Defense - Teodor Atanasiu.  The 
42-year-old Atanasiu is a PNL member and became president of 
the Alba county council in June 2004.  He was manager of the 
Cugir armaments plant from 1987 to 1995, and from 1997 to 
2000, according to press reports.  He was a board member of 
the Privatization Authority from 1996 to 2000.  The choice of 
Atanasiu was widely viewed as a "surprise" pick. 
-Minister of Transportation, Construction and Tourism - 
Gheorghe Dobre.  Touted as one of Basescu,s right hand men, 
Dobre has been the Director of Bucharest City Hall,s 
Inspection and Control department since 2001.  He served as 
the MOT,s Secretary General (1998)2000) as well as in the 
MOT's Organization and Control department (1996-1998). He was 
a Prefect for Dolj County in the 1990's. 
-Minister of Agriculture - Gheorghe Flutur 
-Minister of Education and Research - Mircea Miclea.  PD 
Member Miclea is chair of the Babes Bolyai University 
psychology department and is, at 41 years of age, reputedly 
the youngest professor at the university.  Miclea, who has a 
PhD in cognitive psychology, was Chancellor General for the 
university from 2000-2003. 
-Minister of Culture - Mona Musca 
-Minister of Health  - Mircea Cinteza 
-Minister of Communication and IT - Nagy Szolt.  Currently 
UDMR Executive Vice Chairman for territorial organizations 
and local public administration, Szolt coordinated the UDMR 
local and general election campaigns.  Nagy is known as a 
technocrat and a good organizer, but has not yet served in 
Parliament.  He is in his early 30's. 
-General Secretary of the Government - Mihai Voicu.  Since 
2001, he has served as the PNL General Secretary, actively 
involved in party management and the PNL electoral campaigns. 
 The 36-year-old Voicu was president of PNL youth branch from 
1991 to 1994.  An engineer by training, he has experience as 
a manager and works as a consultant.  He kept a low profile 
until recently, when he successfully ran for deputy from Dolj 
-Minister of Environment - Sulfina Barbu.  The 37-year-old 
Barbu is a PD member recently promoted to Director of 
Bucharest City Hall,s Environment Department.  She 
previously served as Deputy Director.  She is a graduate of 
Bucharest University's Geophysics Department.  Prior to 
joining Basescu's City Hall in 2001, she worked in the 
private sector. 
-Minister Delegate for implementation of international 
financing programs - Cristian David 
-Minister Delegate for Coordination with Control Authorities 
- Sorin Vicol.  This 34-year-old PUR member worked for a 
short period of time with the State Asset Management 
Authority (AVAB) and has not held any leading positions 
within the PUR. 
-Minister Delegate for Parliamentary Relations - Bogdan 
-Minister Delegate for Public Works and Territorial 
Administration - Laszlo Borbely.  UDMR member Borbely has 
been a member of the Chamber of Deputies since 1990.  He 
served as State Secretary for the Ministry of Public Works 
from 1996 to 2000.  Borbely is the UDMR Executive Vice 
President in charge of relations with governmental 
institutions.  He has served on numerous standing committees 
over the years and is widely respected by his colleagues in 
the Chamber. 
- Iuliu Winkler (UDMR, Minister Delegate for Trade) has been 
President of the UDMR Hunedoara County branch since 2001, was 
a county councilor (1996-1999) and a Deputy Prefect 
(1999-2000).  He served in the Chamber of Deputies from 
2000-2004.  He has a background in finance and insurance and 
has also studied engineering.  The 40-year-old Winkler speaks 
fluent English, as well as German and French, and is a 
graduate of the prestigious National Defense College.  He is 
a valued Embassy interlocutor. 
6.  (C) Comment.  In keeping with its campaign pledge, 
Tariceanu's cabinet list proposes to bring many relatively 
new faces into senior government positions.  Few played 
significant roles in the controversial center-right 1996-2000 
government.  Moreover, few of the proposed ministers, in 
marked contrast to the outgoing ruling center-left Social 
Democratic Party (PSD) cabinet, are tainted by association 
with Romania's communist past.  Many are simply too young. 
Assuming the Parliament green lights the proposed cabinet, 
Basescu and Tariceanu's "fresh faces" can anticipate a strong 
dose of realpolitik as they deal with savvy PSD legislators 
entrenched in key parliamentary leadership positions, 
including the presidencies of the Senate and Chamber of 
Deputies.  End Comment. 
7. (U) Amembassy Bucharest,s reporting telegrams are 
available on the Bucharest SIPRNET Website: 
www.state.sgov.gov/p/eur/bucharest . 

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