Romanian Prime Minister Victor Ponta said on Tuesday his leftist government would survive a vote of no-confidence called by the centrist opposition for Friday and that this would end a week-long political crisis and prepare the country for IMF talks.
Ponta has rejected calls by Romanian President Klaus Iohannis to resign after prosecutors named him in a criminal investigation into forgery, money-laundering, conflict of interest and tax evasion.
He has denied wrongdoing and his office said the accusations against him had previously been put forward by his political enemies and “meticulously dismantled” through clear proof and documents.
“The leu’s exchange rate, all data regarding investors’ trust in Romania have yet to be altered so that’s why it is fundamental to show that we are not dealing with a long-term crisis,” Ponta told foreign media in Bucharest.
Romania’s lower house of parliament will hold a session on Tuesday to vote on the prosecutors’ request to lift Ponta’s parliamentary immunity but it is widely expected to reject it.
“I will present all evidence, because I haven’t had any possibility up to now to do it, and I am absolutely sure that I am innocent,” Ponta said.
Romanian prosecutors have made a series of high-profile arrests this year in what remains one of the most graft-prone members of the 28-member European Union.
Ponta said talks with the International Monetary Fund and the European Commission to review Romania’s 4 billion euro precautionary aid deal would still go ahead on schedule late this month or in early July.
His government’s planned tax cuts will be at the centre of the talks. Ponta said the tax cut plan was expected to clear parliament by the end of June.
(Reporting by Radu Marinas; Editing by Gareth Jones)