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The Premier and the Economy Minister have decided to pull from the Economy Ministry’s website the draft emergency ordinance on the reorganization of several state-owned companies. Trade unions have asked for the speeding-up of the draft emergency ordinance on social protection.
The Economy Minister has withdrawn from the ministry’s website the draft emergency ordinance on the reorganization of several state-owned companies, in order for the draft to be re-discussed with trade unions, the draft set to be put up for public debate again after Premier Victor Ponta asked for that, Mediafax informs. Likewise, the Premier asked the minister to clarify this issue and to identify the persons that forwarded such a document without the government’s approval. It is the first notable dispute between the parties within USL on economic and social issues, analysts note.In a communiqué issued yesterday morning on the information concerning “the programme for layoffs in 15 state-owned companies in the energy system,” the government stated that the document was not discussed and approved by the government, the only draft backed by the government being one concerning the extension of deadlines stipulated in emergency ordinance 116/2006. Likewise, Economy Minister Varujan Vosganian stated yesterday during a press conference that Wednesday evening he had a talk with Prime Minister Victor Ponta, the two deciding to withdraw the draft. “I asked my colleagues from the social dialogue department to have a new talk with the trade unions, I want to meet them and then to issue a communiqué that would show that there is no doubt concerning the trade unions’ expectations,” Vosganian stated. On the other hand, also yesterday, trade unions asked for the draft emergency ordinance on the social protection of persons fired from energy companies to be sped-up, for the expired legal framework to be extended and they consented to the draft’s contents, Economy Minister Varujan Vosganian stated.“The ordinance resumes the text of ordinance 116/2006 which experienced several successive modifications. The consolidated form entails new elements concerning salary rights,” Vosganian added yesterday during the press conference. He pointed out that this is not a new text but the extension of an existing one, consequently he does not see the reason for the intense media coverage and for some “erroneous interpretations.”
“The Prime Minister correctly underlined that this is about the extension of some rights. Any other interpretation is not part of the government’s vision and strategy,” Vosganian stated. He pointed out that the draft ordinance was included in the government’s legislative programme communicated since the creation of the Economy Ministry and that was sent to the minister for the relation with Parliament. The minister also pointed out that several days ago Economy Ministry Secretary of State Adrian Ciocanea informed the government about the stage the draft is in, sending it to the Justice Ministry too, the latter already giving its green light for it. At the same time, Ciocanea sent to the economic and social council the trade unions’ agreement on this draft. Vosganian explained that Oltchim is not on the list of companies attached to the draft ordinance because it will have a different regime compared to the rest of the companies given the fact that it is insolvent.
Text of ordinance, unclear
A series of phrases in the text of the ordinance have put the minister in a difficult spot considering that the draft spells out the government’s clear intentions, not working hypotheses. Vosganian avoided giving a clear answer as to why the text reads “the employees that will be laid off” instead of “the employees that may be laid off,” stating that in the text of a serious law the “present tense” is the most clear when pointing out the limits of a law. “I wouldn’t want you to believe the fact that this text reads “the persons that will be laid off” because all persons working in this sector feel the danger of being laid off,” Vosganian added. The minister added that being a lively sector like any other economic sector, the public sector entails layoffs and hiring, the novelty being that the state as employer offers a system of protection for the persons laid off. “It’s not an alarm signal, it’s the extension and diversification of salary rights for persons that were laid off,” he stated for gandul.info. The minister claims that “some were frightened by the term restructuring, reorganization.” At the same time he pointed out he expects to see the number of employees growing in certain companies controlled by the Economy Ministry as a result of the restructuring process.
New Oltchim general manager to be appointed by March 15
The Economy Ministry will appoint Oltchim’s special administrators and operative leadership by March 15, when the agreement with the current manager expires, Economy Minister Varujan Vosganian stated yesterday, realitatea.net informs. “In a few days we will appoint special administrators and the operative leadership,” he stated. Vosganian pointed out that the appointment of persons from within Oltchim is impossible since the rivalries are significant there and any person appointed would generate negative reactions from the others. The minister added that the ministry has several proposals from outside the company but there are talks on the requirements of such a job. “Anyone who comes would ask for a current income and a bonus formula in case he registers results. We are still having talks on this,” Vosganian stated. At the same time, state aid for Oltchim plant should be offered until mid-2013 because otherwise it would no longer be useful, he added, being of the opinion that the European Commission’s answer on this issue will not be coming anytime soon. He pointed out that the ministry cannot pressure the European Commission to speed-up solving the notification that Romanian authorities sent in regard to the approval of state aid for Oltchim, although the urgency was presented in the notification.