Romanian parliament approves new Social Democrat government

Romanian parliament approves new Social Democrat government

Bucharest (AFP) - The Romanian parliament on Thursday approved the Social Democrat government of new Prime Minister Mihai Tudose, despite controversy over its economic plans.

The incoming government easily won the confidence vote, with 275 deputies and senators backing it, against 102 opposed.

Tudose, the 50-year-old outgoing economy minister, was designated premier on Monday by centrist President Klaus Iohannis, days after the ruling Social Democrats torpedoed its own government following an internal power row.

"This government will work non-stop to catch up," Tudose promised, saying he would "turn the brake into an accelerator" for fresh reforms to boost the economy.

In his speech to parliament Tudose stressed the plan for a "sovereign development and investment fund" aimed at attracting capital to invest in infrastructure projects and the creation of state-controlled enterprises.

The new government's economic programme also includes a "solidarity tax" to be levied on high earners, the details of which are yet to be announced as well as a tax on company turnover to replace the current tax on profits.

These two measures, aimed at boosting state coffers, have been criticised by the centre-right opposition upset at seesawing fiscal policies.

Earlier this month the ruling Social Democrats unexpectedly withdrew its support for the then prime minister Sorin Grindeanu, barely six months after the party swept back to power at the ballot box.

The party accused Grindeau of delays in implementing reforms in the European Union's second-poorest country, after Bulgaria.