Romania: Large-scale rally set for Wednesday to protest salary, pensions cuts

08:24, May 19, 2010      

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Major trade union confederations in Romania decided to initiate Wednesday a large-scale rally before the Government Headquarters, to protest at the austerity measures unveiled by the authorities.

The government's measures are unacceptable, stressed the Cartel Alfa National Trade Union Confederation, the Fratia National Confederation of Free Trade Unions of Romania, the National Trade Union Bloc and the Meridian National Trade Union Confederation.

Nearly 60,000 trade union members are expected Wednesday to protest at the austerity measures unveiled by the authorities that are included in a letter of intent to the International Monetary Fund (IMF). Romania has pledged to tighten its budget deficit and meet the terms of IMF-led loan, by cutting public sector wages, pensions and social benefits as well as considerable staff cuts in the public sector.

The five largest trade union confederations argued, according to the official Agerpres news agency, that the government is burdening only the poorest social categories with the solutions to take the country out of the ongoing crisis, as it refuses to change its governing style and is not proposing any solutions that will really take the country out of the crisis.

Their main proposals as a counterweight to the official austerity program include cutting the wages pool by 25 percent for each ministry, including downsizing to two the offices of state secretaries at each ministry; cutting spending on the state apparatus; freezing pensions at their current level; taxing wages according to income brackets; as well as additional measures to support economic recovery.

Source: Xinhua
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