Strike – The Romanian government met, today, in a special session, to increase by 9% the salaries of the education non-teaching staff, in response to the all-out strike in the education system started on Monday. The trade unionists request a 25% increase in all salaries in the education sector, including the teaching staff, and for beginner teachers an average gross salary of 3,000 lei (the equivalent of about 600 Euros). Instead, the government wants to give teachers only bonuses for their teaching career in June and October. The unions rejected the offer and announced that they would continue the protest. On Thursday, more than 10,000 teachers gathered in front of the Government headquarters in downtown Bucharest. Protests were also held in other cities across Romania.
Government – The power sharing arrangement of the parties in the governing coalition in Bucharest is postponed until the resolution of the teachers’ all-out strike, the liberal Prime Minister Nicolae Ciucă announced. He was supposed to resign his mandate today, to be taken over by the Social Democratic leader Marcel Ciolacu. In fact, Nicolae Ciucă made the announcement alongside Marcel Ciolacu, and Kelemen Hunor, from the Democratic Union of Ethnic Hungarians in Romania – UDMR, the third party in ruling coalition in Romania. The Prime Minister Ciucă appealed to the “reason of all teaching staff”, telling them that the Government cannot assume to unbalance the State budget by granting them the salary increases requested, and that the discussions with the unions will continue. In turn, the head of the PSD, Marcel Ciolacu, said that the decision is correct, and that the teachers and employees in the healthcare system are a priority. Predictability and responsibility are needed, the leader of the UDMR, Kelemen Hunor, also said. The agreement between the Liberal Party – PNL and PSD stipulated that each of them would hold the position of prime minister for a year and a half. In the last few days, there have been discussions between PSD and PNL regarding the distribution of ministries in the future government. A retired general, Nicolae Ciucă was sworn in as prime minister in December 2021.
Visit – The German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier is on the third day of his official visit to Romania. Today, in Timisoara (west), he will take a walk through Timisoara’s old town, will go to the German High School and the Cetate Synagogue and will visit a fine art exhibition as part of the program “Timişoara, European Capital of Culture”. The German official arrived, last night, in Timisoara, where he laid a wreath of flowers on the Heroes’ Day at the crucifix in front of the Metropolitan Cathedral, dedicated to the martyrs of the anti-communist Revolution of December 1989, and participated in a symphony concert. Earlier, also on Thursday, Frank-Walter Steinmeier visited Sibiu (center).