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RADOR: News from Romania, 98-09-07

The Press Agency of the Romanian Radio (RADOR Society) Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: RADOR Press Agency <http://indis.ici.ro/romania/news/rador.html>

September 7, 1998


CONTENTS

  • [01] Emergency Ordinance Passed;
  • [02] Political Leaders React to UDMR Decision to Leave Government;
  • [03] "It Is the Minimal Cooperation Criteria That Is All About", UDMR Leader Marko Bela Claims;
  • [04] SNCFR Trade Union Leader on Finance Minister's Decision to Freeze Wages.

  • [01] Emergency ordinance passed

    At its session on Saturday, the Romanian Government has approved the emergency ordinance on debenture collecting for commercial companies involving the state as shareholders. Such companies are to be sold out following negotiations with businessmen or directly on capital markets. The finance minister believes that debenture sales may be part of the privatisation process in the attempt to force comapnies pay their debts back but also impose financial discipline. The move is not expected to affect the inflation while the government is not supposed to include the debentures into the public debt as the previous governments did. The Privatisation and Finance Ministries are expected to express their opinion on the matter at a joint press conference next week. RADOR

    [02] Political leaders react to UDMR decision to leave government

    Most of Romania's political leaders have reacted to the UDMR's decision to leave the government unless the Parliament would pass (by September 30) the amendments to the Education Law as stipulated in the former Ciorbea Cabinet emergency ordinance allowing the setting up of a university on ethnic criteria. "The leadership of the Democratic Union of Ethnic Hungarians in Romania (UDMR) should prove its political skills as it did in the past, and I believe that goes for the future as well. The party should understand that its participation in the government answers the interests of both Romanians and Hungarians, and the interests of the UDMR itself", the leader of the ruling Christian Democrat National Peasant Party (PNTCD) Ion Diaconescu said. The president of the ruling National Liberal Party (PNL), Mircea Ionescu Quintus, has expressed surprise and concern about the UDMR decision. He said such a decision would be "damaging for both the governing coalition and the Hungarian minority". The vicepresident of the Democratic Party (PD), Cristian Dumitrescu, said he was felt sure of both the UDMR's maturity and wisdom, and the necessary compromise to hold the coalition together. "I believe that, in the end, the UDMR will make up its mind and calm down the existing tensions", Mr Dumitrescu concluded. The leader of the opposition Party of Social Democracy in Romania (PDSR), Ion Iliescu, believes that all agreements between the UDMR and other uling parties should be clarified. "The Education Law is the only legal document ensuring education rights (Hungarian language included) according to the highest European standards. The setting up of a separate Hungarian language speaking administrative institution is however neither democratic nor European, and it is even against the ethnic Hungarian youth", Mr Iliescu said.

    The PD suggests the UDMR should reconsider its decision to levae the government in case the setting up of a separate Hungarian language teaching was not approved. In a communique issued to the press, the PD Political Council says the project is not one of the current legislature's priorities and all political parties should approximate their own political tasks to the priorities in the governing programme. According to the PD leadership, it was only its participation in the government that offered the UDMR the chance of really expressing itself. According to the PD, the right to rule also includes the political resposibility to answer all people's needs and concentrate on the priorities in the governing programme as a whole. RADOR

    In a communique issued to the press, the Romanians' National Unity Party (PUNR) welcomes the UDMR decision to leave the government because "Romania was not supposed to be ruled by a party exclusively based on ethnic criteria". According to the PUNR, "such an obvious political error" should be urgently eliminated, and the UDMR should be excluded from Romania's government for good. The UDMR is accused of violating the Romanian law and Constitution and, consequently, the PUNR rejects any political compromise the power may reach concerning the setting up of a Hungarian language teaching university. RADOR

    [03] "It is the minimal cooperation criteria that is all about", UDMR leader Marko Bela claims

    Some PNTCD senators have seen the UDMR attitude as a blackmail, but UDMR leader Marko Bela rejected the accusation claiming that both the former Ciorbea Cabinet and the current Vasile Government recognised the right of minorities to mother tongue education. "When a business contract's compliance is not seen as blackmail, then I do not see why the compliance with a political contract may be seen like one. It is only the minimal cooperation criteria within a coalition that is all about. If a coalition does not comply with the agreements it reached, then on what grounds the coalition was supposed to rely?", Mr Marko Bela said. RADOR

    [04] SNCFR trade union leader on finance minister's decision to freeze wages

    The Romanian Railways (SNCFR) trade unions were surprised by Finance Minister Daniel Daianu's decision to freeze wagws and indexations by the end of the year. The minister made the announcement at the end of the Cabinet meeting on Saturday when a nearly 8 billion lei cut in the Budget spendings was also announced. But the SNCFR trade unions have signed a protocol recently and the transport minister has promised a 26% raise in their wages on October 1. "The big trade union confederations are expected to negotiate with minister Daianu and, of course, after all the utilities complete their remaining indexation pay, I am sure that the National Trade Union Block (BNS), and the SNCFR trade union as one of its members, will not accept any indexation as long as the standard of living is considerably declining and the untilities were not devided into new companies allowing negotiations for new collective employment contracts of a different pay level", SNCFR leader Voicu Sala said in a statement to the Romanian Service of the BBC. RADOR
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