White smoke from the PSD and the PNL for the leadership of the ASF

17 iun. 2020 English Section
Mihai Gongoroi

The PSD and the PNL have struck a deal: Nicu Marcu will be the head of the ASF  

For letting go, the PSD will get another position at the ANRE, the regulator for he energy market

"The PSD gave up the ASF to prevent Zamfir from being there, because that's what Orban asked for", according to the sources

Even though they are fighting the electoral struggle, the PSD and the PNL have completed the split over the positions that will be becoming vacant this summer at several important regulators, and social-democrats have abandoned the leadership of the ASF, meaning that Nicu Marcu will be the president of the Financial Oversight Authority (ASF), according to our information.

"Orban has announced last month that he will be negotiating with the PSD, Orban who, as much as he blasts the "red plague", has caved and negotiated with the PSD".

The negotiations have yielded fruit, and the PSD, to many people's surprise has abandoned the the presidency of the ASF and gave it to the PNL. Because it was impossible for him to back Nicu Marcu for the leadership of the ASF, who is fervently supported by Paul Stănescu because they are old friends. Paul Stănescu, even if he is a secretary general of the PSD now, found it hard to to come in and tell the other members of the party «we won't back Teodorovici or Zamfir, but we'll back Marcu», who is not a member of the PSD", according to some sources.

Nicu Marcu, current vice-president of the Court of Auditors, and PSD senator Daniel Cătălin Zamfir, president of the Economic Commission, were the main contenders for the leadership of the ASF. Also in the cards was Eugen Teodorovici, who was negotiating with PSD president Marcel Ciolacu. The problem for Zamfir, at least, is that in order to become the president of the ASF, the tacit approval of the NBR and of the Presidency are required, which are key institutions in that regard, even though they play no role in the appointment of the head of the ASF. It is known that Daniel Zamfir does not have a good relationship with BNR, with the PSD senator having been the promoter of some banking-related laws seen at the central bank as against banks.

However, the decision of the PSD leadership to abandon the leadership of the ASF came especially as Orban declared last month that Zamfir's nomination would be "a real act of defiance from the PSD".

"Marcu was initially a deputy on the lists of the PNL during the 2012-2016 term, and then went on to become a vice-president at the Court of Auditors following the negotiations by ALDE. So, because Paul Stănescu was unsuccessful in pushing this Marcu in the PSD, the PSD has yielded to the PNL the leadership of the ASF", our sources further said.

For that, the PSD received another position at the ANRE, the energy market regulator, where Iulian Iancu, currently the president of the Industries Commission in the Chamber of Deputies, is in the cards for the position of president.

"The PSD abandoned the ASF to avoid having Zamfir over there, because that's what Orban told them. Even though in public, Ciolacu, in Monday's press conference said that there is no such thing politically, that there won't be any negotiations, lo and behold, the PNL and the PSD can negotiate positions like that", the quoted sources further said.

Marcu also has support for the leadership of the ASF from ALDE, as well as from Victor Ponta, who allegedly negotiated in the past supporting Marcu with Ciolacu.

Today was, initially, the date when the hearings for the vacant seats were supposed to begin, but the term was postponed by two weeks by the PSD and the PNL to finalize the talks.

The position of president at ASF, which remained vacant after Leonardo Badea - the former head of the Authority - was appointed vice-governor at the National Bank of Romania - is one of the most lucrative, the salary being 15,000 euros per month. Currently, Elena Doina Dascălu is serving as interim president.

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