A total of 235 lawmakers, four more than the 231 needed, voted for the motion introduced by the left-leaning opposition which criticised the government’s privatisation plans. Shortly after the vote, President Traian Basescu invited political party leaders to consultations and could designate a new prime minister later in the day. The new government will have a short mandate, with general elections due in November. The fall of Ungureanu’s government less than three months after it came to power coincides with a mission by the International Monetary Fund and the European Union to assess recent reforms. Romania was forced to call on the IMF and the EU for a EUR20 billion (US$26 billion) lifeline in 2009 and took drastic measures in return to curb spending, cutting public sector wages by 25% and freezing pensions in 2010. It also agreed to privatise national assets, including Romania’s biggest copper mining company Cupru Min, and it sold minority stakes in several energy firms. The RON (the Romanian currency) briefly fell to a record low of 4.401 to the euro shortly after the vote, prompting the central bank to intervene massively to stop the devaluation. Romania most likely plunged back into recession in the first quarter but is expected to post 1.5% growth in 2012.