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Romania: Government Plans To Close More Factories

BUCHAREST, 11 August 1997 (RFE/RL) - The Romanian government plans to shut down more unprofitable factories gradually.

The general secretary for the government, Remus Opris told Romanian radio today the decision last week to close 17 factories putting 30,000 people out of work is firm. Opris says the factories can only stay open if they find investors but he adds they all have large debts and are unable to relaunch themselves.

The government estimates the companies' debts at the equivalent of $270 million.

Opris did not say how many factories will be closed. In June, the government published a list of 154 enterprises to be shutown.

Meanwhile, some 500 people protested today outside government headquarters in Ploiesti, where 7,000 people are expected to lose their jobs as a result of the shutdown of two oil refineries.