Two journalists, four accountants, a skater, a wine exporter, a farm manager, a few engineers or university professors and a Harvard graduate. This is what the database of CVs of members of the Government led by a former platoon commander looks like. Digi24.ro presents the basic jobs of the ministers in the current government.
With a confidence of only 13% in the preferences of the Romanians, the Government reached the bottom of all rankings in opinion polls that recently measured confidence in public institutions in Romania. The explanations are multiple. And one of them, according to political scientist Cristian Preda, is related to the bad education of political decision-makers. Digi24.ro carefully looked over the CVs of the members of the Government. Only one minister has specialized training in central public administration. It is about Sebastian-Ioan Burduja, Minister of Research, Innovation and Digitization. He has a BA in political science, a PhD in economics and an MBA from Harvard.
Almost all other members of the Cabinet seem to have come with only a very good recommendation along party lines. In the Ciucă Cabinet there are, for example, two former journalists: Gabriela Firea and Kelemen Hunor. Firea started with the press in 1990, at a weekly in Bacău, then moved to Azi, Radio Contact, TVR, Antena 1 and Antena 3. 22 years later, Gabriela Firea entered the PSD lists for the Senate, then became mayor of the Capital, although his university training is in the area of philology, specializing in Bibliography and Information Science.
Kelemen Hunor, currently deputy prime minister, also comes from the press, the beginning of his professional life finding him in the position of editor at Radio Cluj, the broadcast in Hungarian, in the period 1990-1997. Kelemen has two university majors: veterinary medicine and philosophy, but none of them recommended him to become Minister of Culture and then Deputy Prime Minister in 2019.
From cashier to minister
The strangest CV seems to be that of the Minister of Labour, Marius-Constantin Budăi. For 18 years, his educational training consisted only of the baccalaureate diploma. Whoever helped Budai write his CV left the following note in the document, next to the high school in Botoșani graduated in 1990: “Write the list of the main subjects studied and the skills acquired”. Budai didn’t get to write anything anymore, but he didn’t forget to mention that in 2008 he got a degree in finance and banking from a private university. Budai was for several years, between 1995 and 2008, referent at the Social Assistance Directorate in Botoșani, responsible for management, supply and cashier. Budai also boasts a diploma in “Public speaking and modern presentations”, obtained at the National Agency of Civil Servants in 2016. In the same year, he became the MP for Botoșani and, two years later, Minister of Labour. A position he still holds today.
From can-can to Culture
The Minister of Culture, Lucian Romașcanu, left his professional life as an exporter of Romanian wines on the markets of Israel, Canada, and the Netherlands. Then he was the representative in Romania of the largest producer of corks for wines. Starting from 1997, Romașcanu entered the media as a sales director (MediaPro, Ringier) and in 2009 became the general director of Cancan Media SRL, and from 2012, the executive director of Kanal D Romania. He spends a little more time at TVR as a “management advisor”, to finally end up on the list of senators of the PSD, from 2016, respectively minister starting from 2021.
From service to Entrepreneurship
The most common basic jobs of current ministers are lawyers or accountants. Florin Spătaru, the current Minister of Economy, for example, has a degree in accounting and inventory management at the University of Galaţi, on the basis of which he held various management positions at the Galaţi and Mangalia Shipyards, between 2005 and 2021. Also from the position of accountant, he in the Government and Constantin-Daniel Cadariu. The current Minister of Entrepreneurship and Tourism was for 13 years an accountant at Danadi Prodcom SRL, a service and car sales company.
Virgil Popescu, the minister of energy, started college during the Ceaușescu regime and finished it during Iliescu’s time. In the first years after the revolution, he was an assistant programmer at a company in Drobeta Turnu Severin, today defunct, and in his CV it is written that he was in charge of “software design and realization” (sic!).
The Minister of Agriculture, Petre Daea, and the Minister of Sport, Carol-Eduard Novak, had a somewhat natural route. The first came from the position of head of CAP in Sisești, Mehedinți county (1973-1980), and the other as a speed skater. Novak has won 11 national skating titles, and after the 1996 car accident in which he lost a leg, he became a regular at many championships, with many medals at the Paracycling World Championships and the Paralympic Games.
Only 13% of Romanians trust the Government
According to a recent sociological research by the Institute of Political Sciences of the Romanian Academy, only political parties register a lower trust than the government. The ranking of trust in the sociological study carried out under the umbrella of the Academy is as follows: Army – 67.23%, Romanian Academy – 64.7%, Church – 62.4%, City Hall – 45.1%, Police – 44%, Press – 20.4%, Presidency – 14.6%, Parliament – 14% and the Government – 13.4%, political parties – 8.8%.
Cristian Teaches: “Politicians are below the average level of education”
Cristian Preda, dean of the Faculty of Political Sciences of the University of Bucharest, believes that the main explanation of distrust in the government and parties is related to education. “Politicians are, in Romania, below the average level of education. For example, many people plagiarize. In countries like Great Britain, France or Germany politicians have an above average level of education“, Cristian Preda declared for Digi24.ro. “It’s about how they present themselves. When you have ministers who express themselves with difficulty and when they promise things that they forget faster than the electorate, then distrust arises”, says Preda. He argues that it is also about a tradition of mistrust in political parties or institutions. Furthermore, Cristian Preda believes that a great deal of the blame for Romanians’ lack of trust in the government, parliament or parties lies with the media through “the way journalistic discourse is constructed, more partisan“.
The first jobs of the members of the Government
Nicolae Ciucă – launch platoon commander at the 26th Mechanized Regiment “Ruins”, Craiova
Sorin Grindeanu – university preparer
Kelemen Hunor – radio journalist, veterinarian, professor of philosophy
Adrian Câciu – economist
Lucian Bode – head of sales service
Bogdan Aurescu – jurist and historian
Cătălin Predoiu – lawyer
Vasile Dîncu – university professor
Sebastian-Ioan Burduja – bachelor’s degree in political science, PhD in economics, master’s degree in business administration at Harvard
Ioan Marcel Boloș – economist, doctor in accounting
Florin Spătaru – accounting, shipbuilding
Virgil Popescu – programmer
Barna Tanczos – economist
Cseke Attila – jurist
Marius Constantin Budăi – administrative assistant
Alexandru Rafila – doctor
Sorin Câmpeanu – design engineer
Constantin Daniel Cadariu – accountant
Gabriela Firea – journalist
Lucian Romașcanu – wine exporter, sales manager
Eduard Novak – speed skater, cyclist
Petre Daea – agricultural engineer, head of CAP