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Romania: Premier Says Miners' Strike Is Over

Bucharest, 22 January (RFE/RL) - Romanian Prime Minister Radu Vasile has told an RFE/RL's correspondent that he has reached an agreement with miners to end their strike. Vasile told our correspondent early this evening that thousands of miners have called off their march on Bucharest and are returning to their homes in the Jiu Valley. Details of the agreement were not immediately available, but Vasile said the agreement will be finalized in a further round of talks in Bucharest, with a final restructuring plan due in a month.

The miners had been demanding higher wages and an end to pit closures. Earlier in the day, Vasile flew by helicopter to attend talks with miners' leaders in an Orthodox monastery near Ramnicu Valcea, about 170 kilometers west of the capital.

President Emil Constantinescu postponed calling a state of emergency pending the outcome of today's talks. Constantinescu had threatened to impose a state of emergency unless miners called off a violent advance on Bucharest by this afternoon. A clash between protesters and riot police yesterday about 200 kilometers from Bucharest left at least 130 people injured.