Teachers Take to the Streets in Bucharest

Over ten thousand teachers are expected to protest today in Romania’s Capital, in what has become now a marathon of rallies that has lasted for almost two weeks. The teachers are angry at the pay cuts and at the expected sackings announced by the government, at the request of the IMF.

The teachers are also going to march to the presidential palace, but they claim they will not shout slogans against Traian Băsescu, out of respect for the tragedy that has struck the president’s family on Monday afternoon. The president’s mother, Elena Băsescu, died yesterday, at age 81.

Teachers have lost over 25 percent of their salaries as a result of the austerity measures taken by the Romanian government at the request of th IMF. These measures have brought the average pay of a teacher with 30 years of experience somewhere around 300 Euros a month. A Romanian teacher has been on hunger strike for 42 days already, in protest to the government’s policy towards education, and doctors are very much concerned with her state of health.

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