Tens of thousands of public sector workers have gathered in the Romanian capital Bucharest to protest against plans to cut wages and pensions. The gathering was one of the biggest on the streets of Bucharest was one of the biggest since the Romanian Revolution.
“We will not leave until the government quits,” said Bogdan Hossu, leader of the Cartel Alfa trade union. Marian Gruia, head of the policemen’s union, called on Romanians to unite, “as we did in 1989, when we overthrew the dictatorship” of communist leader Nicolae Ceausescu.
Romania’s economy shrunk more than 7% last year and it needed an IMF bail-out in order to meet its wage bill. It says it needs to implement new austerity measures to qualify for the next installment of the 20m-euro ($25bn; £17bn) IMF loan.
The government has proposed wage cuts of 25% and pension cuts of 15% in order to reduce the country’s budget deficit.