The Social Democrat Party’s motion of no confidence against the governing Democrat-Liberal Party’s proposed austerity measures was rejected last week, with the 228 votes in favor falling eight short of the 236 finishing line. Of the total 428 ballots cast by Members of Parliament, 197 were against the motion, while three were annulled. Even some members of the Democrat-Liberal Party joined the opposition in voting for the no confidence motion, for which some may now be dismissed from the party.
The failure of the measure clears the way for some of the most drastic economic measures of Romania’s post-communist history to be applied. Pensions will be reduced by 15 percent, leaving the minimum pension at around EUR 82, while the minimum salary will fall to EUR 141. Public sector workers will also be affected, with 25 percent salary cuts, as well as large numbers of layoffs.
The opposition parties are entitled to bring yet another no confidence motion, said Victor Ponta, the Social-Democrat Party’s leader. Ponta hopes the motion will bring about important dismissals in the current cabinet, peaking with Prime Minister Emil Boc’s resignation.
The government says the tough austerity measures, part of a wave of state cost-cutting across Europe, are necessary to secure the next installment of an IMF bailout package to finance the country’s current account and budget deficit.