The chairman seat awaits Nicu Marcu

19 iun. 08:15 English Section
Mihai Gongoroi

Daniel Zamfir has withdrawn from the race 

The PSD has yielded the position to the PNL

Marcu's appointment is scheduled for June 24th

The official withdrawal from the race of PSD senator Daniel Zamfir leaves free room to Nicu Marcu for the position of chairman of the Financial Oversight Authority (ASF). Marcu, currently vice-president of the Court of Auditors, has both the direct backing of the PNL, as well as the tacit support of the PNL. As Marcu has support across the political spectrum, and the deadline for submitting applications for the position expired on June 18th, it seems guaranteed that Marcu will be voted in by the Parliament next week.

By the closing of the issue, the schedule had not yet been confirmed by the meeting of the Joint Permanent Bureaus, but according to some sources, the schedule will be broken in two: some of the hearings in the specialized commissions will take place next week (ed. note: this week), along with short distance voting, and next week the hearings for the remaining institutions will be held. According to the sources, the hearings for the position of ASF chairman are part of the first wave: the submission of the report/approval following the selection will be completed on Tuesday, June 23rd, with the vote to be issued on Wednesday, June 24th, at 14:00.

The consensus between the PSD and the PNL concerning the election of Nicu Marcu is part of the larger deal of the last two weeks between the two parties. Despite the dissensions around the state of alert, while the presidency and the government are still exchanging blows with the opposition, the PNL is voting in tandem with the PSD in the Parliament. The agreement also applies to the vacant positions in the ASF, CNCD, ANRE, the Legislative Council and the Court of Auditors, after the negotiations begun at the end of May. The deal between the PSD and the PNL is that the social-democrats abandon the ASF, and institution which the PSD has controlled since its creation in 2013, for a position of vice-president of the ANRE, the regulator of the energy market. As far as the other two positions of simple ANRE members, each party got one.

Handing over the presidency of the ASF to the PNL by Ciolacu comes as Orban recently said that the nomination of Zamfir would be "a true act of defiance by the PSD".

That is as Orban seemed more to echo the sentiments at the NBR, a key institution which needs to give its a tacit approval even it has no contributions in the appointment of the head of the ASF.

Zamfir, the promoter of laws seen by the NBR as being anti-banks, some which were even backed by PNL MPs, withdrew from the race when the PSD-PNL deal became obvious, as he was considered undesirable by the current leadership of the party, even though in the beginning of the year he had received a vote of confidence from the Executive Committee of the was also being discussed, as early back as the beginning of the year, for the takeover of the ASF, an institution which was left without president since October 2019, after Leonardo Badea left for the NBR. The interim leadership of the ASF is now being provided by Elena Doina Dascălu.

One of Marcu's supporters within the social-democrats is Paul Stănescu, the head of the Olt organization. According to some sources, the two have been friends for a long time.

"Orban has announced last week that he would negotiate with the PSD. Orban and did so no matter how much he may rant about the "red plague", he has actually negotiated with the PSD. The negotiations have already yielded results, and the PSD, to the surprise of many, has abandoned the presidency of the ASF and gave it to the PNL. Because it was impossible for it to support Nicu Marcu for the chairmanship of the ASF, who is backed fervently by Paul Stănescu because they are old friends.

For Paul Stănescu, even if he is a secretary general of the PSD now, it would have been 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" (...) Marcu was initially a deputy on the lists of the PNL during the 2012-2016 term, and then went on to become vice-president of the Court of Auditors after the negotiation with ALDE. So, because Paul Stănescu was unable to push this Marcu upon the PSD, the PSD yielded the chairmanship of the PNL to the ASF", sources from the PSD recently told us.

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.

Ilie Sârbu, Ponta's father in law, would allegedly be nominated as vice-president at the Court of Auditors to replace Marcu. Ilie Sârbu is already a vice-president at the Court of Auditors, more specifically a vice-president at the Audit Authority, but his term expires this year.

At the CNCD, were six members are going to be appointed, the deal between political parties includes the UDMR and the USR. The UDMR would be left with the position of president, held by Csaba Asztalos, while the positions of advisors would be divided as follows: 2 with the PSD, one to be held by senator Adrian Nicolae Diaconu, 2 with the PNL, 2 with the UDMR and one with the USR. Unlike the other parties, the USR has run a selection for its nominations - for instance, it has proposed Dumitru Chisăliţă, the president of the Intelligent Energy Association for the ANRE.

At the Legislative Council will be nominated Toni Greblă, former judge with the Constitutional Court.

Marcu has gone through many public sector jobs during his career

Marcu was elected deputy for the county of Bacău on the lists of the USL in 2012, with the help of Romeo Stavarache, mayor of Bacău between 2004 and 2016 and founder (1994) of SC Prod Cresus SA, a company which had many contracts with Romsilva. According to the official CV, Marcu began his college at 24 (1992), and his professional career in 1996, at the Poiana Mare Forest District, with the Craiova Forest Department, where he was a chief-accountant until 1999. He then became a CFO of the Romsilva (prior to that working at the Territorial Forest Inspectorate of Craiova, The Dolj Forest Department and the Bucharest Forest Department). During the Tăriceanu government (2006) he became an executive of the Romanian lottery, and in 2007, through a decision of the prime-minister, he became a secretary general of the ANAF.

In 2007, Hotnews reported that Nicu Marcu was backed by liberal leader (PNL vice-president in 2007), Dan Radu Ruşanu, as well as that he was brought in the Ministry of Economics and Finance by Ruşanu's godson, Daniel Chiţoiu. Marcu subsequently went to the National Integrity Council, as representative of the aforementioned ministry, being proposed by Chiţoiu. Marcu left for the Court of Auditors as a result of the negotiation by ALDE, the party of Tăriceanu and Chiţoiu, according to our sources. Marcu has been and is active in the academic sector, being a lecturer between 2005-2008 at the Economics and Business Management Faculty of the University of Craiova, and then worked as a lecturer for three years, and starting in 2015 he becomes a university professor at the University of Bucharest. In 2017 he started teaching at the Academy of Economic Studies. In 2014 he becomes a Scientific Researcher Class I at the National Economic Research Institute (INCE) Costin C. Kiriţescu subordinated to the Romanian Academy, and that same year he became a Ph. D supervisor at t he High Doctoral Studies Economic School, also subordinated to the Romanian Academy.

According to the latest wealth statement made public, (May 23rd, 2019), Nicu Marcu holds, together with his family, 2337 square meters of built-up area land, and 14000 sqm of agricultural land, a 125 sqm house in Baileşti and one of 70 sqm in Craiova, an Audi acquired by leasing in 2017 worth 67.000 EUR and has a mortgage of 75000 Euros. According to the statement, in 2018 he made almost 400000 lei - almost 290000 lei as vice-president of the Court of Auditors and almost 110000 lei from the Academy of Economic Studies.

The term of the future chairman of the ASF expires on November 23rd,, 2023.

The position of president at ASF, is one of the most lucrative, with a salary of 15,000 euros per month.

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