Romanian newspapers on Tuesday debate the repercussions and proportions of a general strike taking place in the public sector today, try to identify how neighboring Bulgaria deals with the crisis, relate how members of the governing party are dropping membership in favor of businesses and provide a case study on how a politican can dodge conflicts of interests.
Evenimentul Zilei reads that a strike announced for Tuesday by personnel of the Bucharest subway, in solidarity with a general strike of public sector employees, may be a preview for an undetermined lock down of subway traffic.
The paper says that subway trade union members are decided to stop activity for an undetermined period should the government decide to cut salaries in state-controlled companies, which includes subway operator Metrorex, as it has already announced such measures for the public sector. And the paper points out links between subway trade union leaders and politicians in the opposition.
The strike today is a continuation of a strike launched on Monday in many public institutions. Adevarul reads, however, that so far the strike is not such a big fuss as halting work did not bring Romania to a halt, nor did it revive the trade union movement in Romania, as union leaders have hoped. And it points out that only some 400,000 state employees of an announced total of 1 million were on strike on Monday.
Gandul sees the first day of strike as a fiasco, at least at Bucharest level. It reads that the only town hall to have closed doors was the Bucharest District 4 town hall, where the only employees working were those in the Deceased registration department. And it reports that in other town halls the strike only meant people wearing hand bands and posting banners across the offices. About the same happened in schools, in public transport and other services.
Meanwhile, Adevarul quotes Bulgarian Finance minister Simeon Djankov in an interview saying that the Sofia Government took the necessary measures so that the financial situation in the country avoid a dramatic deterioration as it happened in Romania. It reads that Bulgaria expects economic improvement this year and underlines a statement by Djankov that Bulgaria would not touch salaries and pensions, as the Romanian government is about to do.
Adevarul also reports that a prominent member of the governing Democratic Liberals (PDL), businessman Silviu Prigoana, announced his resignation from the party, opting to remain a deputy and businessman - an information confirmed by another party official. The move comes as the party leadership decided to force members to choose between politics and business, a measure that affects many top members of PDL.
Gandul reports that the decision sparked a revolt among PDL members and quotes one as saying: "But what if my wife does not want to take over my businesses, what will I do, divorce?"
And Romania libera reports that the businesses with the Romanian state run by PDL Senator Marius Necula, amounting to millions of euro, are officially run by his parents, according to public data. Only that his father died in 2007 and his mother is 72. The businesses officially run by Necula's parents involve construction works deals funded by the Regional Development and Tourism Ministry and deals supported financially by the Agriculture Ministry.