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Two hundred employees of Oltchim and Arpechim protested yesterday in front of the Ministry of Economy, demanding the authorities to pay up their salaries and come up with solutions for the problems of the company. ‘On Wednesday, we talked to Economy Ministry officials, but they didn’t give us any concrete solutions. We want our salaries to be paid and a concrete strategy, with all the necessary steps for dealing with the issues,’ union leader Mihai Diculoiu said on Thursday, realitatea.net informs. Twenty-three Oltchim employees including two women are currently on a hunger strike. Oltchim staff salaries owed for the second half of December will be paid on Thursday or Friday and the outstanding payments due for August and September 2012 will be received by the workers if the plant exceeds 50-60 per cent production capacity, Economy Minister Varujan Vosganian said.
Meanwhile, Valcea County Council decided in unanimity that CET Govora would cut the power supply to the Oltchim plant today at 24:00, Mediafax reports. The President of Valcea County Council, Ion Cilea, notes that, if Oltchim demonstrates by the deadline on Friday that it is able to pay part of the debt, the decision may be reversed. On the other hand, the Minister of Economy said the power supply to the plant will not be cut off, as there is enough money to buy electricity until the end of February.
On Wednesday, Vosganian also met up with Commissioner Joaquin Almunia, Vice President of the European Commission in charge of Competition, whom he asked to approve EUR 45 M state aid to Oltchim, according to a ministry release. In addition, the minister also said that any contracts that are not economically viable would be rescinded and the privatisation strategy for the enterprise would be ready by June 2013.