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Romania Court Rejects Austerity Measures

Romanian Prime Minister Emil Boc
Romania's Constitutional Court has ruled that parts of an austerity package that is key to the disbursement of international aid are unconstitutional.

Romania's center-right government has proposed a 25 percent cut in state wages and a 15 percent cut in pensions in order to curb the public deficit and secure the release of a new tranche of a 20-billion-euro aid package agreed with the International Monetary Fund, the European Union, and the World Bank.

The court said the proposed 15 percent cut in pensions is unconstitutional.

The IMF-led aid package is vital for Romania's recession-hit economy.

Several hundred Romanians protested against the austerity measures in Bucharest today, and dozens of protesters tried to force their way into the presidential palace but were repelled by antiriot police.

Prime Minister Emil Boc, speaking after the court ruling today, said the government will discuss with the IMF an "alternative" austerity package.

compiled from agency reports