IMF agreements caused 200,000 job losses in Romanian steel & metal industry

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In the past 20 years, Romania's steel and metal industry lost over 200,000 jobs and is one of the domestic sectors that bore the heavier brunt of the measures implemented under the agreements with the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Marius Cornenco, vice-president of the 'Metarom' Steel Workers Trade Union Federation (FSSM) told a conference on the role of global financial institutions in development policies.

"Immediately after the 1989 Revolution, there were approximately 250,000 people working in the Romanian steel and metal sector. Following the measures implemented on the basis of agreements with the International Monetary Fund, there are only 25,000 employees left in the sector. Although privatized for a pittance of 50 million US dollars, the Sidex Galati steel mill (eastern country) is a fortunate example, because it still exists under the present name of ArcelorMittal. In most cases the steelworks were completely wiped out because they were privatized through liquidation," Marius Cornenco said.

"The austerity measures imposed by the IMF produced the toughest social effects in Greece, but Romania belongs to the second group of European countries that were most affected by these economic decisions In the present context, we must try to see how civil society organizations can trigger a shift in the attitude of international financial institutions, so as to render them more responsible towards the citizens," vice-president of CNS Cartel Alfa Petru Dandea also said.

The national conference titled 'The role of global financial institutions in policy development; IMF conditionalities encourage poverty and favor corporations' was organized by CNS Cartel Alfa in cooperation with Jubilee Debt Campaign, EURODAD and Action Aid. The conference is part of the plan of action of the European project 'Promoting a change of attitude at European level on IMF's role in development and assistance policies for developing countries, for public debt management and the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals.'AGERPRES

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