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July 4, 2010 March on the Palace of the Parliament

Revolting and hungry citizens – July 2010 Romania: in the name of the people Kopp online Niki Vogt Romania is shaken by heavy disturbances. As the rigorous cost-cutting program even included pension cuts, thousands of old people took to the streets everywhere. The parliament had decided to cut the anyway meager pension by another 15 %, in order to qualify for a 20-Billion-Euro-Credit of the IMF by drastic cost-cuts. Court in Romania does not play along At the same time the wages of the public employees were to be cut notably and even draconian savings in the social benefits were to provide for the necessary plus factors in the eyes of the inspectors of the IMF. The supreme court of Romania did not play along. The law had hardly been passed, when the constitutional court declared within a few days that this law was not only unconstitutional, but that there was another incurable deficiency: there is no possibility to appeal against this decision. The legal reasoning for this judicial decision shall be that there is a law in Romania prohibiting to cut the pensions which had been paid in by the employees themselves and guaranteed for them. In Romania there are about 9 millions of working people, about 5.5 millions of pensioners and about 850,000 unemployed, a number which in truth is probably understated. 7.6 millions of Romanians have one income only 1.4 millions of the 9.2 millions of working people are employed in publicly paid jobs. Welfare recipients and the recipients of other social benefits are not included here. Romania has 21.5 million inhabitants. I. e., that 7.6 millions of Romanians generate the income for 13.4 millions of fellow citizens. The decision of the constitutional court is final and absolute. The speaker of the Romanian national bank, Eugen Radulescu, called it "disastrous" for Romania. It was a very, very bad signal. In an interview with “The Money Channel” he expressed his concerns that it now will become even more difficult for Romania to get credits on the international financial markets. What actually is behind all this Behind all this actually is the tangible fear of not getting the 20-billion-Euro-Credit of the IMF (24.49 Billion dollars) anymore. In order to get this credit Romania has to level down its budget deficit to 6.8 per cent, not an easy task. Not an easy task The head of the IMF representatives for Romania, Jeffrey Franks, only vaguely answered the question about what are the chances for the payment of the IMF credit yet. They would evaluate the decision of the constitutional court, he said. The meeting, however, which was to take place on Monday and during which the direction of the IMF should have taken the decision of the payment of the awaited credit, was deferred for now. A deep hit. Just helplessly friendly and diplomatically hidden prime minister Boc could beg that there is still hope for Romania to get the IMF credit. Angry citizens in front of the palace While the court was still in session, angry people gathered in front of the president's palace and screamed out their anger about the cost-cutting measures. Suddenly a group of the protesters rushed up to the extensive barriers and in spite of the security forces were almost successful in storming the palace in Bucharest. They wanted to enforce an appointment with president Traian Basescu. Only by the skin of their teeth the police was able to maintain the already erected barricades on the Place of the 17th century in front of the president's palace. Nothing to be read in German Media Interesting about these occurrences actually is that there is nothing to be read in our media - utter silence. A research on the internet among German search words just found one blogger site reporting, the "Marktorakel (market oracle)". Otherwise: utter silence. That is well understandable, as the German and other governments are not interested in publicize these examples of citizens’ anger. Peace keeping by redistributing? All governments are in the same dilemma: Either they continue running into debts rampantly in order to keep the system of social peacekeeping running by redistribution of vast sums of money, getting things in a complete mess any time soon, as the financial markets do not trust the over indebted states anymore and therefore do not grant any credits anymore ... … or they change course and introduce draconic cost-cutting measures inevitably tearing apart the welfare state and the entire social nets and consequently setting on march revolting and really hungry citizens on the government palaces, as already happened these days in Romania. Supplement by Father Don Demidoff: From the 1st of July this year social welfare is cut. More and more poor children descend into calamity. For once again the innocent children are affected, who are not in a position do defend themselves.