Romanian parliament approves new government

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BUCHAREST, Romania (AP) — Romania's parliament has approved a center-left government, putting an end to concerns that a bitter feud between the president and prime minister could lead to a political standoff.

Lawmakers voted 402-120 on Friday to approve the Cabinet of Prime Minister Victor Ponta, whose alliance won 68 percent of seats in Dec. 9 parliamentary elections.

Ponta says "I want to show ... that social injustice can be remedied. I want to tell the retirees, those who were fired and the poor that the fight against poverty is a priority for the Romanian government."

Ponta is an archrival of center-right President Traian Basescu, whom Ponta moved to impeach this year. The bid failed, but Basescu said he was reluctant to reappoint the 40-year-old Ponta. He later relented after pressure from EU leaders.

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