It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.
Please white-list or disable AboveTopSecret.com in your ad-blocking tool.
Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.
ROMANIAN OPPOSITION parties and unions have pledged to protest over government plans to slash public sector wages and benefits in a bid to cut the country's budget deficit and revive its economy.
President Traian Basescu said officials had decided during talks with a visiting International Monetary Fund (IMF) delegation to reduce the pay of state employees by 25 per cent from next month and pensions and unemployment benefits by 15 per cent this year.
Mr Basescu said the cuts were essential if Romania was to keep its budget deficit under control and secure access to the next tranche of a [euro]20 billion emergency loan from the IMF and other international lenders.
Victor Ponta, the leader of the opposition Social Democrats, pledged to combat the reforms "with civil society, the trade unions, with anyone who wants a future for this country, to object to this social genocide . . . in parliament, in the street, or anywhere it will be necessary".
Union bosses were meeting yesterday to discuss strike action
'The likelihood that we will strike is big as long as these draconian measures are not abandoned,' said Marius Petcu, head of CNSLR Fratia union, which represents about 800,000 people.
'I think in two weeks we will know whether we will strike. We are talking about hundreds of thousands of people that need to be consulted.'
'Strikes are likely to happen and intensify, but at the end of the day I don't think they will seriously derail the change because...there isn't a real other viable option,' said Raffaella Tenconi, chief economist at Wood&Co in Prague.