One of the largest mass protests since the fall of Communism in 1989 hit Bucharest on Wednesday over deep government spending cuts, casting doubt on Romania's ability to meet its IMF loan commitments.
Analysts say the government may end up bowing to public pressure and softening the planned cuts in a bid to preserve popularity for its shaky parliamentary majority, even though elections are not scheduled until late 2012, Reuters says.
About 30,000 teachers, police officers and other workers took to the streets at 11 a.m. and threatened to go on strike next week if the government cuts wages by 25 percent and pensions by 15 percent from June, said Bogdan Hossu, leader of Cartel Alfa, an umbrella group for unions that includes more than 1 million state employees.
“We want a compromise for everybody, there are resources if there is the political will to use them,” Hossu said today. “People are desperate and they urge us not to surrender; we’ll block the economy as of next week until the government gets the message.”, BusinessWeek informs.