The budget-finance commissions of the Romanian Parliament passed the draft budget law for 2007 with 16 votes in favor and 11 against on Monday, thus putting a temporary end to serious disputes related to the salaries of teachers.

The commissions rejected an amendment supported by opposition MPs that called for a salary boost for Romanian teachers. The amendment had been previously approved by education commissions who agreed with the re-direction of funds from investments to salary spending.

The opposition-supported amendment had received the support of various officials including Education minister Mihail Hardau and had been challenged by Finance minister Sebastian Vladescu alone. But Hardau stepped back during budget commission hearings as he agreed that investment funds should remain unchanged in the 2007 budget.

That prompted fierce criticism from education trade unions later today as they accused minister Hardau of “despising the social-professional category he manages”.