Analysis 16 Jan 17

Romania 2017: Russian Shadow Falls on West’s Staunch Ally

Growing Russian influence on the borders, corruption and tough economic issues are the main challenges facing Romania in the months ahead.

Marian Chiriac
BIRN
Bucharest
Romania's new government will face many political and economical challenges in 2017 | Photo: presidency.ro

Many Romanians wished themselves a thorough political overhaul in 2017, hoping that the country's leadership - often seen as corrupt and ineffective - will finally start performing and regaining long-lost popular confidence.

Yet, given the long list of external and internal challenges that the country faces, some fear things could get worse before they get any better in 2017.

The ruling Social Democrat Party, PSD, together with its junior partner, now has an outright majority of 250 seats in the 465-seat parliament after its victory in the 2016 elections.

The PSD also holds most of the posts in the new government led by Sorin Grindeanu, a 43-year-old mathematician and former deputy mayor of  the city of Timisoara.

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