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Romania's New PM Vows to Fight Corruption, Poverty

  • Stefan Bos

Romania's new center-right government led by Prime Minister Calin Popescu Tariceanu was sworn in Wednesday after it won a vote of confidence in parliament. The prime minister vowed to fight corruption and poverty and prepare Romania for membership in the European Union by 2007.

Romania's recently elected president Traian Basescu says he will watch the 24-member cabinet closely to make sure it carries out the electoral promise of tackling corruption and poverty.

Speaking to the new cabinet, he says he will have no mercy on any corrupt official. From today on, he says, the government's task will be to implement the program adopted by parliament to modernize Romania and reduce poverty.

The government Prime Minister Calin Popescu Tariceanu has put together includes center-right parties clustered around his centrist Justice and Truth Alliance. Included in the government is a small party representing Romania's almost two million ethnic Hungarians.

In his acceptance speech Mr. Tariceanu said he will bring press freedoms and an independent justice and institute market reforms. He also pledged to adopt changes needed to qualify Romania for EU membership by 2007.

Mr. Tariceanu warns the next few years will be difficult for the Romanian people. He says he wants to see a real market economy that serves all Romanian people not just the oligarchs..

One out of three Romanians today live below the poverty line.

Mr. Tariceanu's plan to lift Romania out of poverty and establish market economy includes cutting taxes, overhauling the tax code and enacting measures to stimulate foreign investment.