Magazine article New Internationalist

Introducing. Klaus Iohannis

Magazine article New Internationalist

Introducing. Klaus Iohannis

Article excerpt

Romanians, fed up with corruption and politics-as-usual, went against the grain in their November presidential contest, electing Klaus Iohannis in decisive fashion with nearly 55 per cent of the vote. Iohannis, a centre-right politician from the minority German community, was considered an unlikely outsider, yet became the country's first victorious minority presidential candidate. The result is a slap in the face for the social democratic government of Victor Ponta (the runner-up) and his increasingly authoritarian style. During two years in power Ponta had supported legislation that tolerated impunity for a notoriously corrupt political class and smothered investigative journalism. His U-turn on the controversial Rosia Montana goldmining project (which he opposed until he got into power) proved particularly costly.

While there were many reasons to vote against Ponta, Iohannis' programme of privatization and a minimalist state has little to offer the 20 per cent of workers who cannot live on their low salaries, and the nearly 40 per cent of the population at risk of poverty and social exclusion. …

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