Romanian police respond to salary cuts

Was fuer ein Fehler! Wenn man die sowieso niedrigen Polizei Gehaelter kuerzt, dann stuerzt wieder Alles in eine Wege Lagerei ab etc. und Kriminelle haben Freie Fahrt.

Romanian police respond to salary cuts


Police answer the government austerity measures in a unique manner.

By Paul Ciocoiu for Southeast European Times in Bucharest — 24/09/10




photoRomanian police at a Bucharest protest earlier this year. [Octavian Cocolos/SETimes]

All policemen and policewomen instituted what they call a „state of normalcy“ in response to the government’s July austerity package, which includes a 25% salary cut for state employees.

Banned from going on strike, they decided not to patrol the streets, guide traffic, issue fines or participate in criminal case hearings for an unlimited period of time. They pledged, however, to respond to all emergency calls.

„We are paid 75%, we work 75%,“ police union leaders said. Their unorthodox form of protest is expected to culminate with a street march Friday (September 24th) in Bucharest.

The government warned that the officers are jeopardising their employment status and will be held accountable. Exerting added pressure, the government said on Wednesday it will lay off a portion of the national police force to alleviate budget concerns.

„Romania has 54,000 policemen and 30,000 gendarmes. This is 26% over the European average,“ Interior Minister Vasilie Blaga said.

The border police responded by saying they will start checking travelers more strictly, resulting in long queues at border crossings.

Rudolf speaks for many bloggers who believe the police are making a big mistake.

„First, their form of protest will worsen the already poor image they have among the public. Second, this is the job they themselves chose, and for which they took an oath,“ he says, arguing there are hundreds of thousands of other state employees whose salaries are also being reduced.

„Third, if they allow criminality to reach high rates now, it is them who will have to bring it someday to an acceptable level. They will pay for the mistake they are making now,“ Rudolf says.

Noua Presa agrees. „The gun-carrying union members maintain they won’t give fines anymore, but only warnings. Of course, they can’t commit illegal acts because they risk criminal consequences,“ he says.

Others, like Dan on the Evenimentul Zilei forum, argue that in a capitalist system, one can resign if dissatisfied with job conditions. The salaries are low, he agrees, but it does not follow that they should put in only 75% of their capacity.


Basescu wants police protection withdrawn


BUCHAREST, Romania — President Traian Basescu has asked the interior ministry to withdraw his police protection, a spokesperson said Saturday (September 25th). The decision came after a protest by about 6,000 police officers and jail wardens who gathered outside the presidential palace Friday to protest government austerity measures that include a 25% cut in police salaries. The protestors blamed the president for the economic crisis and demanded that he meet with labour representatives.

Basescu refused, arguing that holding such a demonstration was illegal. That angered the protestors even further, prompting some to throw police caps and plastic water bottles at the presidency building. (AP, Ziarul, Adevarul, Realitatea, Mediafax – 25/09/10; AP, DPA – 24/09/10)