Romanian Prime Minister Stands Down
- New Europe Investor
- July 13, 2015
Victor Ponta, the Romanian Prime Minister has quit as party leader over a criminal investigation into his dealings as a public servant.
Whilst he has denied all of the allegations, the Prime Minister had disappeared for nearly a month to Turkey in the midst of a crisis of his leadership.
Officially he was there for knee surgary, but many had speculated as to the timing of the trip which he went on without informing the country’s president, Klaus Iohannis.
Iohannis who is in the opposition party, had previously urged Ponta to resign over the charges. Ponta has stated that he has not spoken to the president since 5th June, showing the level of tensions between the two parties over the issue.
Victor Ponta managed to secure immunity last month from some of the charges. He survived a no-confidence vote and lifting of immunity in parliament prior to his trip to Istanbul for knee surgery.
He recieved immunity from the work he did as a lawyer where he is said to have forged expense accounts to a value of 181,000 lei (€40,000).
However, issues remain over tax evasion and money laundering which authorities are still pursuing him for.
Many will see the timing of his resignation amidst the heat of the Greece crisis as a way to deflect attention internationally.