Tuesday, June 8, 2010

AP: Romania expects 125,000 public sector jobs cuts

BUCHAREST, ROMANIA

Some 125,000 public sector jobs need to be cut in 2011 to ease pressure on the state budget as the country remains mired in a deep recession, a government official has said.

Andreea Paul-Vass, economic counselor to the prime minister said late Thursday the public sector would need to shed 250,000 jobs to return to 2007 levels, when the government started hiring more agressively thanks to a three-year economic boom.

Finance Minister Sebastian Vladescu said earlier this year that 70,000 state-paid jobs should be slashed in 2010.

Romania has 1.36 million public workers at a population of about 22 million. Unemployment is currently about 8 percent.

The country took a euro20 billion ($24.54 billion) loan from the International Monetary Fund, the European Union and the World Bank last year to pay state wages when its economy shrunk by 7.1 percent.

In May President Traian Basescu announced sweeping cuts in state-paid wages, pensions and benefits. The IMF said the country had to reduce public expenditure to keep its soaring budget deficit under control, but insisted the measure to cut wages by one-fourth and pensions by 15 percent was decided by Romania's authorities.

Romania has yet to implement the cuts. It stands to have an installment of the IMF loan delayed if the measures are not applied by the end of June. Prime Minister Emil Boc is expected to go to Parliament next week and try to get the legislature's approval for the measures.

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