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New Defense and Metallurgy Ministers Named

December 18, 1985

BUCHAREST, Romania (AP) _ The ministers of defense and the metallurgical industry were fired Tuesday as President Nicolae Ceausescu continued to reorganize his Cabinet in an effort to revitalize the economy.

Agerpres, the state-run news agency, reported Col. Gen. Constantin Olteanu, who has been defense minister since March 1980, was replaced by his deputy, Col. Gen. Vasile Milea. It said Marin Enache was appointed to succeed Metallurgical Minister Neculai Agachi, but gave no background on Enache.

Ceausescu fired six Cabinet members in October and November, including Foreign Minister Stefan Andrei. But most of the dismissals affected the energy sector, which was placed under military control on Oct. 19 in apparent anticipation of another winter of shortages.

Agerpres quoted Ceausescu as saying Olteanu would be given a post in the ruling Communist Party, also headed by the president, but did not say what the position would be.

Olteanu was removed a week after he visited Moscow for meetings with Soviet military officials.

Agerpres said that in a speech to senior party members within the army, Ceausescu spoke of ″the important role and contribution of the Romanian army in the implementation of the nation’s socio-economic development program.″

It reported he stressed the army’s participation in the ″development of the homeland″ during the next five-year plan beginning in 1986, and said military officers should ″take an active part in the whole political and social life, including economic development.″

Agerpres said the president noted that military units are working in various economic sectors and, ″if needed,″ they would return to the army.

It quoted him as saying, ″We hope it will not be needed, meaning that we should ensure peace and we should not resort to arms.″

Beginning in 1986, the army will join in the construction of a new Danube- Bucharest canal and in the five-year planning period it will contribute to projects involving the irrigation of 3.7 million acres of land and a reforestation program, Ceausescu said.

But the president, who has followed a relatively independent course within the Soviet bloc, appeared to also assure Moscow that Romania remained a trusted ally.

Agerpres quoted him as saying Romania would ″develop the feeling of collaboration with the armies of the Warsaw Pact countries and other friendly armies.

″We are firmly resolved to carry out unswervingly the pledges we have made under the Warsaw Treaty ... to defend our countries against imperialist aggression, defending the peaceful work and the independence of our countries,″ he was quoted as saying.

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