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Last Updated: Wednesday, 20 July, 2005, 10:45 GMT 11:45 UK
Romania PM reverses quit decision
Floods in Romania
The prime minister says resignation would be cowardice at this time
Romania's prime minister has reversed his decision to resign as the country looks to recover from heavy floods that have killed more than 20 people.

Calin Popescu Tariceanu announced his resignation earlier this month after the constitutional court blocked judicial reforms demanded by the EU.

The decision means Romania cannot join the EU on schedule in 2007.

Now Mr Tariceanu says he will outline plans to rebuild the country and seek a vote of confidence in parliament.

Eastern Romania has been hardest hit by the floods over the past week, with rains swelling rivers and destroying roads.

'Moral and patriotic'

Mr Tariceanu said the natural disaster had made him change his mind about quitting.

In a moment of a dramatic crisis for the country one needs a government and, between two evils, we choose the smaller one
Mircea Geoana
Opposition Social Democrat Party

"Today, the first priority is the reconstruction of the country, the unconditional support for the population," he said.

"Between being true to my word and resigning, and leading the efforts to rebuild the country, I chose the solution which was moral and patriotic. My resignation now would have been cowardice."

He said Romania would join the EU as a country with "modern and rebuilt roads, strong dwellings, and satisfied people".


The chairman of Romania's opposition Social Democrat Party (PSD), Mircea Geoana, supported Mr Tariceanu's decision not to resign.

But he said the PSD position that the government was incompetent remained unchanged.

"However, in a moment of a dramatic crisis for the country one needs a government and, between two evils, we choose the smaller one," he said.

Romania - along with Bulgaria - has signed an EU accession treaty which was designed to allow it to join the bloc in 2007.

Both nations have been told that entry can be delayed for a year if they fail to meet EU standards.

Romania floods leave seven dead
14 Jul 05 |  Europe
EU candidates sign entry treaty
25 Apr 05 |  Europe
Tough rebirth for Romania
06 Dec 04 |  Europe
Country profile: Romania
24 Nov 04 |  Country profiles

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