Thu, Dec 30, 2004 - Page 6 News List

Romanian parliament approves new government

DPA , BUCHAREST

The liberal coalition government led by Romanian prime minister-designate Calin Popescu Tariceanu won a vote of confidence on Tuesday night from both houses of Parliament.

The premier and his 24-member Cabinet won the approval of 265 members of the Senate and the Chamber of Deputies against 200 "no" votes. Four deputies did not vote. In a statement of his government's policy, Tariceanu said its priority would be to implement a flat tax of 16 percent for income and profit and emphasized that the transition from communism to capitalism was over.

He said his government would concentrate on integration with the EU with membership expected in 2007, the depoliticization of the judicial system, independence for the formerly state-controlled press, the removal of the government from the economy and the fight against poverty.

Tariceanu, chairman of the National Liberal Party, heads a coalition of four parties after parliamentary elections on Nov. 28.

Tariceanu's party holds eight cabinet positions, including the key portfolios of defense, finance and the general secretariat. The Democratic Party has six, the Democratic Union of Hungarians in Romania four and the Humanist Party three.

Of the 24 ministers, 11 are under 40.

Under Tariceanu's tax plan, tax on business profit would be reduced from 25 percent and employee and social benefits paid by employers would be reduced from 49.5 percent to 39.5 percent.

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