Archive for May, 2010


Severe Cuts Prove Romanian Government’s Weakness

May 28, 2010

by Claudia Ciobanu first published on Socialist worker

The Romanian government plans to cut 25 percent of salaries of state employees and 15 percent of pensions and state assistance (including unemployment benefits and mothers’ allowances). Romanian President Traian Basescu announced the cuts in early May, after negotiations with the IMF delegation. In a final assault against common sense and decency, the government is invoking “national security” concerns to legally justify the pension cuts.

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Authoritarianism consolidates in Bulgaria

May 4, 2010

The authoritarian tendencies of the populist Borissov government in Bulgaria are becoming blatantly obvious after the recent developments:

– A spate of spectacular arrests against former government ministers, officials and magistrates were carried out by the police. Footage of the Hollywood-style nighttime raids was made available on the Ministry of Interior website and relayed by mass media. On one memorable occasion, Chief Prosecutor for the District of Sofia, Roman Vassilev, ordered the former defence minister on the floor and called him a “criminal”. He was later reprimanded by his superiors but such behaviour is more and more appreciated by the public at large. Online forums are bristling with calls for retribution and calls for summary justice (though my sample is very limited and, admittedly, there are those who are outraged by the brutal display of force by the police and government)

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