Romanian government concessions to protest movement

From daily The Morning Star in Britain:

Romanian ministers review cuts after protests

Monday 16 January 2012

by Tom Mellen

Romanian ministers were forced to review their plans to impose IMF and EU-mandated health-service cuts today as protesters continued their anti-austerity rallies.

Hundreds gathered in Bucharest’s central University Square, chanting: “The mafioso government stole everything we had.”

Before going into cabinet talks on redrafting an unpopular health Bill which proposes to privatise the ambulance service, Prime Minister Emil Boc said: “We understand the hardships Romanians are facing.

“The crisis has been harsher than we imagined. There is much room for dialogue, but no room for violence.”

President Traian Basescu’s government took a two-year €20 billion (£16.5bn) loan from the International Monetary Fund, the European Union and the World Bank in 2009 in return for savage spending and public-sector wage cuts.

Widespread anger over plunging living standards spilled onto the streets last Wednesday and Romanians have been out every day since, with 10,000 demonstrating on Sunday.

Riot police in the capital clashed with protesters, some of whom threw stones and petrol bombs, and arrested 29 people.

Several major banks had their windows smashed and some street lamps and bus stops were damaged.

A Romanian medical official says 59 people were hurt, 10 of whom were police officers.

Police official Aurel Moise said about 250 people had been fined for their conduct and 36 more will be investigated.

He claimed that a group of football fans bent on violence had infiltrated the protest.

The police may also join the protests soon, with their Pro Lex union warning Interior Minister Traian Igas that their members will take to the streets unless he coughs up unpaid wages and pledges not to scrap paycheque payment of union dues.

Pro Lex said that it had asked Mr Igas on December 22 to discuss the issues but hadn’t heard anything back.

Thousands of Romanian citizens marched in Bucharest this afternoon for one of the country’s largest demonstrations in years – crowning a week of militant rallies against the pro-EU government of President Traian Basescu: here.


Thousands of trade unionists and their allies took to the streets of Romania for the twelfth consecutive day over the pro-EU government’s austerity drive: here.

In Hungary Orban plays the nationalist card but the truth is that his government is completely dependent on the EU and IMF, and is intent on meeting their demands: here.

6 thoughts on “Romanian government concessions to protest movement

  1. Health official returns to job

    ROMANIA: A popular health official whose resignation over a regressive Health Bill sparked days of militant protests across the country will return to his job, it was announced on Tuesday.

    Prime Minister Emil Boc said that Raed Arafat — who has publicly clashed with the government over its plans to privatise emergency ambulance services — will return to his Health Ministry post and will be part of a team drafting a new health-care law.

    But political commentator Cristian Patrasconiu said: “This move will not cancel the idea of protests, which have long ago moved to other topics than health care.”


  2. Pingback: Romanian miners strike because of broken promises | Dear Kitty. Some blog

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  4. Pingback: New Romanian government | Dear Kitty. Some blog

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