Romanian president accused of anti-Semitism for rejecting Jewish politician as government minister


(JTA) — Romanian President Klaus Iohannis called accusations of anti-Semitism “ridiculous’ after he rejected the nomination of a Jewish politician to a minister position in a Cabinet reshuffle.

Ilan Laufer, 35, who is a dual Romanian and Israeli citizen, accused Iohannis of anti-Semitism for rejecting the nomination by Prime Minister Viorica Dancila for him to serve as development minister. The president also rejected a second ministerial nomination.

Laufer served as business minister in a previous government, a position that was approved by Iohannis.

He called the president an anti-Semite for refusing his nomination.

Iohannis condemned Laufer for “using such sensitive terms for political gain,” The Associated Press reported. “References to anti-Semitism and Nazism represent a dangerous action which can generate anti-Semitic and discriminatory manifestations and can incite hatred,” the president said in a statement.

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