Romania's governing Social Democrats (PSD) have decided on their proposals for three new ministers, in a government reshuffle sparked by a tensions between PSD leader Liviu Dragnea and PM Mihai Tudose
. The new ministers are Paul Stanescu for Development Ministry, Felix Stroe for Transport Ministry and Marius Nica for European Funds Ministry.
They are due to replace minister Sevil Shhaideh (Development), Rovana Plumb (European Funds) and Razvan Cuc.Paul Stanescu
is the head of the regional PSD branch in Olt county, south Romania. He is one of the strongly influential local "barons" within the PSD. He has served as head of Olt County Council for 8 years before being elected Senator in 2016.
He is known for putting his on brother, Alexandru Stanescu, on electoral lists and having him voted as a member of the House of Deputies, while his wife, a local school teacher, has been named counsellor at the Education Ministry.
Paul Stanescu is seen as one of the toughest PSD local "barons" and has helped Liviu Dragnea take over the leadership of the party several years ago. But their relationship has cooled for the past several months, according to party sources.
For his part, Felix Stroe
is the head of the regional PSD branch in Constanta, SE Romania. He has been a supporter of Liviu Dragnea and even ushed for Dragnea to be named prime minister in the wake of parliamentary elections late last year. Dragnea could not become PM, however, due to a previous corruption-related sentence.
Stroe has become leader of the Constanta branch following the withdrawal of baron Radu Mazare, from public life, due to a long series of corruption-related cases. He and Mazare have long been in conflictual relationship and Stroe even welcome the "extraordinary role of the National Anti-Corruption Department (DNA, the main body investigating corrupt officials)", which has been targeted many PSD politicians and other officials.
Under the communist regime until the early 90's, Stroe has served as a navy officer for more than a decade, 5 years of which he was a warship commander.Marius Nica
, selected to take over as European Funds minister, has been a state counsellor for PM Tudose. He also served in a similar position under previous PM Sorin Grindeanu and was European Funds minister in 2015, in the last government led by former PSD leader Victor Ponta.
He has graduated the National Intelligence Academy in 2003, later worked at the Defense Ministry and then as an aide for Rovana Plumb, one of the resigning ministers today, when she served as a member of the European Parliament.