Romania: President Basescu survives impeachment referendum
July 30, 2012
On 29 July, Romanian President Traian Basescu, who has held a long battle over austerity policies with Prime Minister Victor Ponta, survived the impeachment referendum called by Ponta's ruling USL coalition. Although the electorate voted massively against Basescu, low voter turnout invalidated the impeachment referendum, which required a participation of over 50% to be validated by the constitutional court. That said, the constitutional court postponed the final ruling until 12 September, therefore prolonging the political unrest in the country. Intensifying political tension heading to parliamentary elections, which are likely to be held in December or early 2013, could jeopardize the fiscal consolidation process in place under the IMF-EU program as well as dampen economic activity.