Thursday, May 13, 2010

AP: Romanian retirees scuffle with police

May 12, 2010
BUCHAREST, Romania—Romanian retirees have briefly scuffled with police as they tried to force their way into the presidential palace in Bucharest.

More than 500 retirees are protesting in the capital and calling for the president to resign over announced pension cuts.

Romanian media say more than 1,000 people are protesting in other cities around Romania on Wednesday.

Last week President Traian Basescu said public sector wages will be slashed by a quarter and pensions by 15 percent because of the difficult economic situation.

Romania's economy contracted last year by 7.1 percent.

There are about 1.4 million people employed by the state and over 5.5 million retirees.

The IMF led a 20 billion euro ($26.18 billion) bailout last year to help pay state salaries.

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