Accessibility links

Breaking News

Romanian PM Admits To Decades-Old Drunk-Driving Offense In U.S.

Florin Citu is currently locked in a bitter struggle for his party's leadership.
Florin Citu is currently locked in a bitter struggle for his party's leadership.

Romanian Prime Minister Florin Citu has admitted to a two-decades-old drunk-driving offense in the United States, for which he served two days in jail.

Citu called it "interesting" that this information had become public at a time when a power struggle is taking place within his ruling National Liberal Party (PNL).

"I made a mistake 20 years ago.... It concerned driving under the influence of alcohol," Citu told the media on August 11 after reports of the incident surfaced in the media.

Citu was given two days in jail and a $1,000 fine for driving under the influence of alcohol in Iowa in March 2001.

While admitting to paying what he called "a very high fine" that forced him to sell his car to cover it, the prime minister failed to mention to reporters that he had also spent two days behind bars.

Citu, who is now 49, was studying business at a university in the state at the time.

The leftist opposition called for President Klaus Iohannis to dismiss Citu, arguing that he should have revealed his brush with the law when he accepted the position of head of government.

Citu is locked in a bitter power struggle with PNL Chairman and former Prime Minister Ludovic Orban for the party leadership, which is to be decided at a party congress in the coming months.

Orban himself was at the center of a controversy linked to his alleged driving under the influence in 2007, but was later exonerated by a court.

With reporting by,,, dpa, and
  • 16x9 Image


    RFE/RL journalists report the news in 27 languages in 23 countries where a free press is banned by the government or not fully established. We provide what many people cannot get locally: uncensored news, responsible discussion, and open debate.