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Florin Cîțu
Romanian Prime Minister Vasile-Florin Cîțu (11-05-2021) (cropped).jpg
President of the Senate of Romania
Assumed office
23 November 2021
Preceded by Anca Dragu
69th Prime Minister of Romania
In office
23 December 2020 – 25 November 2021
President Klaus Iohannis
Deputy Dan Barna (2020–2021)
Kelemen Hunor
Preceded by Nicolae Ciucă (Acting)
Succeeded by Nicolae Ciucă
President of the National Liberal Party
Assumed office
25 September 2021
Preceded by Ludovic Orban
Minister of Public Finance
In office
4 November 2019 – 23 December 2020
Prime Minister Ludovic Orban
Nicolae Ciucă (Acting)
Preceded by Eugen Teodorovici
Succeeded by Alexandru Nazare
In office
8 July 2021 – 18 August 2021
Prime Minister Himself
Preceded by Alexandru Nazare
Succeeded by Dan Vîlceanu
Member of the Senate of Romania
Assumed office
21 December 2016
Constituency Bucharest
Personal details
Born 1 April 1972 (1972-04-01) (age 49)
Râmnicu Vâlcea, Vâlcea County, Romania
Political party National Liberal Party (PNL)
Education Grinnell College (BA)
Iowa State University (MA)

Florin Vasile Cîțu ( born 1 April 1972) is a Romanian politician who served as Prime Minister of Romania between December 2020 and November 2021. Since September 2021 he has been the leader of the National Liberal Party (PNL). After a motion of no-confidence ended his premiership, Cîțu was voted President of the Senate of Romania by the new PSD-PNL-UDMR coalition in Parliament. Previously, he also served as Minister of Public Finance in both the first and second cabinet of former PNL Prime Minister Ludovic Orban between 2019 and 2020.

Personal life

Florin Cîțu was born in Râmnicu Vâlcea, although he grew up in the village of Tulei-Câmpeni from Golești commune in Vâlcea County, Oltenia. He is the third ever Prime Minister of Romania from Râmnicu Vâlcea, after the CDR Radu Vasile (actually stemming from PNȚ-CD and hailing from Sibiu) and Mugur Isărescu (a native of Drăgășani). During Communism, Cîțu's family had strong political and business ties with the PCR branch in Vâlcea County and his maternal lineage has been convicted for theft, from his mother to his maternal grandfather by the then authorities as well.

Furthermore, while abroad for his bachelor studies in the United States at Grinnell College, Cîțu was arrested after being found drunk or under the influence of alcohol while driving DWI and DUI by the American police. He was fined with 1,300 USD and jailed for two days.

Education

After graduating from Grinnell College in 1996, Cîțu obtained a master's degree in economics and attended the program for a doctoral degree that he did not complete in macroeconomics and international economics from Iowa State University in 2001.

Early career

Following university graduation, Cîțu worked as an economist for the Reserve Bank of New Zealand (2001–2003) and the European Investment Bank (2003–2005). He also worked as an investment banker at ING Group’s Romanian division up until 2011, when he was fired on the grounds of incompetence and because of lack of professionalism given that he proved incapable of working well in teams (preferring to do whatever he wanted instead), as subsequently reported by his employer Mișu Negrițoiu who went on to describe him as 'a little satrap'.

Political career

As Minister of Finance

In 2019, the joint budget and finance committee of the Parliament of Romania failed to endorse the nomination of Cîțu as finance minister, though their vote was not binding.

On 26 February 2020, following the vote of no confidence against the Orban Cabinet that had taken place 5 February, President Klaus Iohannis designated Cîțu Prime Minister of Romania and asked him to form a new government. Just before the investiture vote took place, Cîțu stepped back in favor of his party leader Ludovic Orban. Due to the emerging COVID-19 pandemic, the main opposition party, i.e. the Social Democratic Party (PSD), agreed to another term of the Orban cabinet until the December 2020 legislative election. Consequently, Florin Cîțu took back his position as finance minister until the formation of his own cabinet in late December 2020.

As Prime Minister

After 9 December 2020, Cîțu was the National Liberal Party's Prime Minister proposal to succeed acting head of government Nicolae Ciucă (also issued from the PNL), following the resignation of Ludovic Orban on 7 December. Cîțu became Prime Minister on 23 December, forming a three-party coalition government. The composition of his cabinet was criticised for having only one female minister and for the appointment of Sorin Cîmpeanu, who in a previous ministerial position had proposed legislation "that protected those found to have plagiarised their academic theses".

During the term of his cabinet, he served as acting Minister of Health (between 14 and 21 April 2021) as a result of the firing of preceding Minister Vlad Voiculescu. On 8 July, he took back the position of Minister of Public Finance for a second time after preceding Minister Alexandru Nazare was ousted, this time acting, until Dan Vîlceanu was sworn in on 18 August.

In September 2021, the coalition was threatened by the withdrawal of USR PLUS party members, following the sacking on no pertinent reported grounds of former Justice Minister, Stelian Ion. The USR PLUS entered parliamentary opposition and put forth a motion of no confidence alongside AUR, thus triggering a major governmental crisis in Romania, which was already hit hard by the fourth wave of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

His former coalition partners, USR PLUS, heavily criticized Cîțu for the adoption of PNDL3 and Anghel Saligny projects through emergency ordinances, two public procurement money-based projects which they deemed corrupt and thereby legitimizing theft from public money and EU funds. Subsequently, Cîțu's position as Prime Minister has been backed by a boycotting of the no confidence motion by both PNL and PSD up to the current day.

In the meantime, his own political party has been swept from public trust (constantly registering lower points in the opinion polls conducted by various institutes for the upcoming legislative elections) and has undergone increased internal turmoil with respect to the congress scheduled for the 25 September. In addition, in late September 2021, DNA officially started the criminal investigation in Florin Cîțu's case on the grounds of abuse of office and incitement to abuse of office as Prime Minister.

On 5 October 2021, Cîțu was ousted from his position as Prime Minister after a vote of no-confidence. Former coalition partners USR (previously USR PLUS) described the vote as stemming from "all the reforms that have been blocked in recent months, for the failure of the vaccination campaign, for the use of money and public functions to buy votes at the PNL congress".

As President of the National Liberal Party (PNL)

On 25 September 2021, Cîțu became President of the National Liberal Party (PNL), as a result of defeating previous president Ludovic Orban in a party congress held on the same day at Romexpo in Bucharest before approximately 5,000 delegates.

Other activities

  • ING Bank Romanian division, investment banker up until 2011, when he was fired on the grounds of incompetence and lack of professionalism with respect to group work
  • European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), Ex-Officio Member of the Board of Governors (since 2019)
  • European Investment Bank (EIB), Ex-Officio Member of the Board of Governors (since 2019)
  • World Bank, Ex-Officio Member of the Board of Governors (since 2019)

Foreign honours

  •  Ukraine: Order of Merit, 1st class
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