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LabMin Alexandru says state pensions to increase, budget permitting

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Violeta Alexandru

State pensions will increase because it is obvious that an increase is needed, but that must have the support of the budget because Romania is now following a time in which its economy was hard hit, Labour Minister Violeta Alexandru said Tuesday evening.

"The message I want to convey is that this government is responsible. There will be an increase in pensions. It is a responsible government that will announce a possible change in the law related to the 40% known percentage, backed by analyses. There is no one who does not want to, especially since we know very well what the daily life of a person who, after a working life sometimes in very difficult conditions, is in a situation of needing medication, is in a position to cope alone most of the time. People should not believe that we have no understanding. Obviously, beyond any populism, we are responsible people and we will communicate this on the basis of data on government revenues (...) There is no one in this government team who out of bad will does not agree with the requirements of the pensioners (...) It is obvious that a supplement is needed, but that must have the support of the budget, because we are now after a period of pandemic, when the economy was hard hit," Alexandru told TVR1 public broadcaster.

She said she was surprised by Tuesday's statements by leaders of pensioners' associations, who announced street protests in September and lawsuits if pensions were not increased by 40%, voicing regret that a channel could not be found for dialogue.

She reiterated that both the prime minister and the minister of finance have made it clear that, when there is a report on the government revenues, the categories involved will be informed and invited for debate, in this case the pensioners.

Three major pensioners' organisations announced on Tuesday that they plan to hold street protests in September if the government fails to comply with a law that raises state pensions by 40 percent from September 1.

Also, before the street protests, the three pensioners' organisations want to bring the government to court unless the pensions are increased.

The three organisations are the National Federation of Romania's Pensioners, the General Union of Romania's Pensioners and the Unirea National Federation of Romania's Pensioners, which claim to represent the interests of almost 5 million retirees.

Chairman of the National Federation of Romania's Pensioners Preda Nedelcu said on Tuesday that the protests will be organised in September, after the government officially informs whether or not it will enact the law increasing state pensions by 40%.

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