Wednesday, 04. December 2013 - 18:12
01. 05. 12. - 13:00
Some 500 retired military personnel protested today (Tue) in Bucharest over low pensions and austerity measures, local press informs.
Protesters have received the visit of newly nominated Premier Victor Ponta. The former military are angry with the right wing governments austerity measures that hit hard the most vulnerable social categories, such as pensioners, children, students and people with disabilities.
Protesters staged a sitting in front of the government offices in Victoria Square, calling for the resignation of President Traian Basescu. The military say the governments of Basescu took away the dignity of the people.
In 2010, Traian Basescu and his government enforced a package of dramatic austerity measures in order to reduce the budget deficit to less than 3 percent of the GDP, at the request of the IMF. The outgoing cabinet of PM Mihai Razvan Ungureanu set an even lower deficit to some 1.9 percent at the GDP, meaning more cuts, mainly in the health care and other public sectors.
Under the IMF, European Commission and World Bank stand by agreement, the government cut the public wages by 25 percent, increased the VAT from 19 percent to 24 percent, including for basic food, and taxed small pensions with 5.5 percent. The austerity resulted in an unprecedented surge of poverty, with over nine million people living nowadays on the poverty threshold, according to Eurostat.
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