New Ro­ma­nian gov’t.

Kathimerini English - - Focus -

months be­fore the UK is due to trig­ger its de­par­ture ne­go­ti­a­tions. Ivan Rogers, a highly re­garded diplo­mat who had been due to end his four-year stint in Oc­to­ber, stepped down as Lon­don pre­pares to in­voke Ar­ti­cle 50, which starts a two-year count­down to Bri­tain leav­ing the EU. Rogers came un­der fire last month for say­ing it could take 10 years for Bri­tain to con­clude a trade deal with the EU. The gov­ern­ment in­sisted, though, that he was only re­port­ing back what was be­ing said in Euro­pean cap­i­tals. “Sir Ivan Rogers has re­signed a few months early as UK per­ma­nent rep­re­sen­ta­tive to the Euro­pean Union,” a Bri­tish gov­ern­ment spokes­woman said. “Sir Ivan has taken this de­ci­sion now to en­able a suc­ces­sor to be ap­pointed be­fore the UK in­vokes Ar­ti­cle 50 by the end of March. We are grate­ful for his work and com­mit­ment over

Ro­ma­nia’s rul­ing So­cial Demo­crat Party (PSD), win­ner of a De­cem­ber 11 par­lia­men­tary elec­tion, named gov­ern­ment min­is­ters yes­ter­day, in­clud­ing vet­eran law­maker Viorel Ste­fan for the Fi­nance Min­istry port­fo­lio. The lineup will be rub­ber-stamped in a vote to­day in Par­lia­ment, where the PSD and its ju­nior coali­tion party ALDE have an over­all ma­jor­ity. ALDE has four port­fo­lios, in­clud­ing en­ergy. Would-be fi­nance min­is­ter Ste­fan, 62, has a PhD in eco­nom­ics and has been the head of the Par­lia­ment’s lower house bud­get and fi­nance com­mit­tee for years.

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