- Title: ROMANIA: Thousands of Romanian workers rally in pay protest
- Date: 15th May 2009
- Summary: BUCHAREST, ROMANIA (MAY 14, 2009) (REUTERS) PROTESTERS MARCHING THROUGH BUCHAREST STREET TRUCK WITH PROTESTERS PASSING BY GOVERNMENT BUILDING SYNDICATE LEADER SPEAKING TO CROWD WHILE ON TRUCK, GOVERNMENT BUILDING BEHIND HIM MORE OF SYNDICATE LEADER ADDRESSING PROTESTERS POLICEMAN WATCHING PROTESTERS PASSING BY (SOUNDBITE) (Romanian) SYNDICATE LEADER, DUMITRU COSTIN, SAYING: "The first priority for us, for the Romanian government and all European governments is a credible policy to preserve and create jobs. The Romanian economy needs as many new jobs as possible, which have to be paid what they deserve." PROTESTERS HOLDING BANNER / TWO POLICE VANS IN FRONT PROTESTERS HOLDING BANNER READING "THE CRISIS WILL NOT BE RESOLVED BY ITSELF" OLD WOMAN SALUTING PROTESTERS AS THEY WALK BY VARIOUS OF PROTESTERS BEATING DRUMS AS THEY WALK BY FEMALE PROTESTER HOLDING STICKERS READING "CHANCES" AND "PENSIONS" PROTESTER WITH UMBRELLA ON HIS HEAD SPEAKING ON LOUD SPEAKER (SOUNDBITE) (Romanian) UNIDENTIFIED PROTESTER, SAYING: "We are here to protest against government policy, to show our position regarding the insecurity of our jobs and living standards." PROTESTERS CHANTING "UNITY, UNITY" PROTESTERS WHISTLING
- Embargoed: 30th May 2009 13:00
- Location: Romania
- Country: Romania
- Topics: Economic News,Domestic Politics
- Reuters ID: LVAEASF3K41EMICT84NAQAKINLA9
- Story Text: Romanian workers and civil servants take to the streets in protest against their government's handing of the economic crisis.
Thousands of Romania's workers and civil servants rallied in Bucharest on Thursday (May 14), demanding higher wages and secure jobs, in a demonstration of growing discontent with the government's anti-crisis response.
The centre-left cabinet has frozen state pay and is expected to restructure bloated administration and monitor inefficient, loss-making companies, to comply with requirements of a 20-billion-euro (27 billion USD) IMF-led aid package Romania secured in March.
"We want jobs," read a banner carried by white-dressed unionists blowing whistles and shouting "Thieves, thieves".
Over several months, Romania has turned from being an attractive destination for foreign investment to an economy plagued by ballooning foreign debt, a gaping external deficit, bloated government budgets and sour market sentiment.
This led to thousands of redundancies in the industrial sector and has forced Bucharest to seek aid, following similar deals secured by fellow European Union states Hungary and Latvia.
"The first priority for us, for the Romanian government and all European governments is a credible policy to preserve and create jobs. The Romanian economy needs as many new jobs as possible, which have to be paid what they deserve," said Dumitru Costin, head of the BNS trade union federation.
"We are here to protest against government policy, to show our position regarding the insecurity of our jobs and living standards," said one of the protesters.
On Thursday, state monopoly grid operator Transelectrica <TSEL.BX> posted a 43 percent drop in first-quarter net profit. Analysts said this reflected a sharp fall in power consumption due to ongoing industrial closures across the Black Sea state.
So far, the economic crisis has sparked little violent unrest, compared to protests in Latvia or Bulgaria, but the centre-left cabinet is under pressure from thousands of trade unionists reluctant to back IMF-prescribed reforms.
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