The two-month old government of Romanian Prime Minister Mihai Ungureanu failed a no confidence vote today, forcing the President to name a third Prime Minister in a span of six months. The last prime minister, Emil Boc, resigned after violent anti-austerity protests in February. The no-confidence vote, spurred by bitterness over austerity measures as well as claims of corruption, contrasts with the government’s dissolution in the Netherlands, where the Prime Minister resigned for failing to bring the budget deficit down to the EU mandated levels it sometimes seems only the Dutch are trying to get to.
A new European budget pact, ratified so far only by Greece and Portugal, two EU bailout recipients, re-enforces the 3% of GDP limit on annual deficits and 60% of GDP for national debt that very few EU countries presently meet.
The Czech Republic’s government is expected to survive its own no-confidence vote later today. Meanwhile, in France, Socialist Francois Hollande’s is leading President Sarkozy by up to 10 points in opinion polls, running on a promise to re-open the EU’s budget pact. Angela Merkel dismissed the idea as impossible, setting up a political clash with the potential next French President.