Indications Of Things To Come

Romanian public workers strike over wage cuts

Government plans to slash wages by 25%

The workers walked off the job Monday, the same day the ruling Democratic Liberal Party submitted a plan to slash wages by one-fourth to reduce the budget deficit to some 6.8 per cent of gross domestic product.

Employees in the departments of education, health, public administration, customs and jails stopped work, union leaders said. There appeared to be far fewer employees striking than the 700,000 unions predicted, however.

Thousands of medical staff protested shortages of basic medical supplies and low salaries across the country in front of hospitals, and called for the government to resign.

"We lack motivation, we lack medical supplies and we worry for tomorrow," said Elena Banu, a nurse from Bucharest's University Emergency Hospital. She said medical staff were tempted to work in countries such as Italy, Spain and France.

About 150 retirees in Bucharest and 1,000 elsewhere protested the government's decision to cuts pensions by 15 per cent

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Romania is a country will a low level of public debt, with debt to GDP running around the 20% mark.

The current government does grasp the current financial situation with it's abysmal current deficit of 6.8% of GDP, and is boldly taking steps to put limits on expenditures.

Kudos to them.

But the public does not like to have its entitlements cut back.

What will happen in welfare states like Canada, Germany, the UK and even the USA when the bond market forces austerity?

Will this summer and fall be the season of our discontent?