Romanian President Klaus Iohannis hit back Wednesday at accusations of anti-Semitism after he vetoed the appointment of a Jewish businessman as development minister in a cabinet reshuffle.
In the changes announced earlier this week, Iohannis — a centre-right politician at loggerheads with the ruling Social Democrats — refused to approve the choice of Ilan Laufer, describing the appointment as “unsuitable”.
Laufer, who founded a real estate company and was previously minister of business affairs in 2017, angrily attacked Iohannis on Tuesday, describing his veto as “a new act of anti-Semitism”.
Laufer accused the president of regularly making anti-Semitic statements, blocking the appointment of a Romanian ambassador to Israel, and opposing the move of Bucharest’s embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.
In a statement Wednesday, Iohannis dismissed Laufer’s comments as “irresponsible”, saying it was “inadmissible for the memory of the Holocaust to be sullied via such attacks”. Read more