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PM Tudose: My firm conviction is Government restructuring is needed

Prime Minister Mihai Tudose on Wednesday said that a Government restructuring is needed to a number beginning with "1," however he pointed out that besides the Interior Minister, Carmen Dan, he has no problems with any other minister.

"We want to make the governance act more efficient. We want spending on state functioning be lower. 21 ministries is a bit too much. (...) I would like [their number] to begin with 1, not 2. Be them 11, be them 19, at least to begin with 1. A bunch of structures have been created in time belonging to the same ministry in the territory, a bunch of branches, I would like to see them merged back, as this also eliminates bureaucracy. (...) We have committed and I have committed to do this thing - debureaucratization, a much more coherent functioning of the state institutions, and we have taken up on this task. If it bothers some and some don't agree and speculate that there are sides (...), what do you want me to do? To say that what I think is wrong? This is how I think, this is how I see it. (...) I will be in this office as long as I can do what I feel that I can do well. If I can no longer do this, I will go home. (...) This is my firm conviction [that a restructuring is needed]," Tudose told Antena 3 private television channel.

He underscored he wants a lighter government, closer to the citizen. Tudose also maintained that he isn't taking sides and that he is a Social Democratic Party (PSD) member.

The National Liberal Party (PNL, opposition) backs the government's restructuring to 14 - 15 ministries, this party's national leader Ludovic Orban said on Thursday.

"In the case [Premier] Tudose has no idea or doesn't want to present a serious restructuring project, the PNL backs a 14 - 15 ministries' government as the normal EU countries have. I see no point in establishing ministries, probably the spitting image of the PSD's (Social Democratic Party, major at rule) county barons only to hire some menials of the PSD barons to give the latter satisfaction. I see no point in the Ministry for small and medium-seized companies, in particular when the Start-Up programme has failed lamentably, since I learned that from thousands of applications merely 23 were given funds; I see no point in the Ministry of Waters and Forests when we already have Romsilva and the Romanian Waters company; I see no point in bodies such as the Energy Ministry. What reason is it there for an Energy Ministry? Energy is part of the Economy and it should be within the Economy Ministry. I see no point in a Tourism Ministry, no matter how much Tudose appreciates it, as I noticed, since it has no object of activity to justify the existence of a ministry," Orban told a press conference.

The PNL leader also said that his party is for cutting the number of secretaries of state to a maximum one third of the currently existing, for downsizing by at least 30 pct the number of agencies, offices, authorities under the gov't management, as well as for dismantling certain devolved services.

"I hope that by this restructuring Tudose doesn't want to reshuffle the Teleorman tribe only, since he has been talking about tribes, but all of the tribes, too, from Olt, Constanta and the other counties as well - the Giurgiu tribe that has populated the PSD administration, the various state companies' boards of directors. (...) Technically, to eliminate all the tribes of nieces, mistresses, drivers, princelings they have parked shamelessly and callously in public jobs with no contest, no professional training whatsoever, based only on the party affiliation, and likewise the poster-stickers they have parasitized with the public administration, basically bringing the public administration in an absolutely deplorable state, as it no longer serves the citizen, but is in the service of the PSD barons," the PNL head added.

In Orban's opinion, Premier Tudose should have talked about the gov't restructuring when being appointed. Orban said that if it comes to a vote in the Parliament on the gov't reshuffle, the PNL will vote against PSD, being ready at any moment to shape a government, adding: "I am confident that President Iohannis will not nominate anymore a PSD premier, which will open the way to early elections."