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Key Economic Data 
 
  2003 2002 2001 Ranking(2003)
GDP
Millions of US $ 60,358 44,428 38,700 52
         
GNI per capita
 US $ 2,310 1,850 1,720 100
Ranking is given out of 208 nations - (data from the World Bank)

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Update No: 152 - (25/01/10)

President sworn in again
President Trajan Basescu was inaugurated to a second five-year term on December 16, giving him the right to form a new government. This was after the Constitutional Court rejected charges that his election victory was rigged. The court ruled on December 14 that opposition leader Mircea Geoana failed to prove accusations that his loss in the December 6 runoff against Basescu was due to massive fraud.

Basescu’s first duty was to nominate a prime minister and garner support to form a new government after the 10-month- old Cabinet of Emil Boc collapsed on October 13. Without an administration, the European Union’s second-poorest member has failed to approve spending cuts and unfreeze a $30 billion bailout loan needed to pull the economy out of recession.

“The battle for the presidency of Romania ends here,” Geoana said in a news conference, conceding the election to his opponent. “In power or in opposition, we will continue to fight for an honest, fair government. It’s time to return to the fight against the economic crisis.”

The currency fell to a seven-month low and bonds plunged after the October government collapse. The benchmark BET index fell 1 percent to 4734.52. But a certain recovery came in early December.

“The news is positive,” said Raffaella Tenconi, chief economist at Wood & Co. in Prague. “It will support a stable leu and have a small positive impact on the equity market. The key event remains the official formation of a new coalition.”

Exit Polls
Geoana, the president of the Social Democratic Party, was expected to win, according to the final pre-election opinion survey, published on December 2, and topped three of four exit polls after balloting ended.
 
After losing by 70,000 votes of the 10.5 million cast, Geoana argued that the Liberal Democratic Party, which supports Basescu, obtained an additional 136,000 votes through fraud. Basescu denied the allegation and the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) said the vote “was held generally in line with OSCE commitments.”

Basescu, who failed twice to pass a new government in November through Parliament, is seeking the support of the National Liberal Party to win a third attempt. Should that attempt also fail, he may be forced to call early elections, leaving the country without a government until as late as April.

No Surprise
Basescu’s Liberal Democratic Party sent an invitation at first to the National Liberal Party, which was allied with Geoana in the election, to discuss the formation of a government. The Liberals, who have 79 seats and could give Basescu a majority, haven’t yet accepted the offer. “The results don’t actually surprise me,” Crin Antonescu, leader of the party, told reporters after the ruling. “The business now turns to forming a government.”

The court ruling follows a recount of 140,000 ballots declared null. The recount gave Basescu 1,260 extra votes and 987 for Geoana, widening the incumbent’s lead. The International Monetary Fund suspended payments on the international bailout for Romania after infighting in Boc’s administration triggered the collapse in October.

Boc continued as interim premier, with limited powers. The Washington-based lender said that a mission “could return in January once a new Cabinet has been formed.”

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