While on a visit to Cairo on Monday evening, Foreign Minister Teodor Baconschi said he suggested that part of the Interior Ministry workers who are to be laid off be given jobs in the Foreign Ministry’s consular network, according to Realitatea.net. Baconschi said that he already voiced willingness to take over part of the sacked workers in an official letter to Interior Minister Traian Igas. “We have not yet established the size of such a transfer and professional conversion, but I think it’s a good idea because in the end, many of those who will be laid off from the Interior Ministry have good public relations experience and, after undergoing specific consular training, could be redistributed in our consular network,” the minister said.
Baconschi underlined that the Foreign Ministry was recently restructured and cannot go back to the previous staff organisation, but many of the country’s consular offices, including in areas where there are major Romanian communities, are severely understaffed.
Interior Minister Igas has plans to sack about 10,000 workers in the following couple of months, which triggered harsh criticism and protests from police unions. All negotiations over the matter, held between unions and ministry officials, have failed until now. Earlier this year, Baconschi had said that his ministry would need more workers, in particular in consular offices, and added that he would ask for PM Emil Boc’s approval to hire new personnel.
When asked to comment on Baconschi’s statements, Boc said on the public TV channel on Tuesday evening that he had no knowledge of the proposal and that he first heard about from the media. The prime minister voiced confidence however that the foreign minister will offer all necessary details and clarifications in today’s cabinet session.
Yesterday, meanwhile, the Foreign Ministry issued a press release explaining part of Baconschi’s proposal. The document says that following EU accession, consular activities have been stepped up, especially in fields relevant to Interior Ministry workers’ competence (releasing identification papers, passports, marital records and others).
“In the context and in order to cover the need for specialised personnel (…), the Foreign Ministry has demanded Interior Ministry support with human resources, over the years,” the release notes. The document also said Baconschi invited Interior Ministry workers to undergo consular training in order to help make consular offices work more efficiently, especially “within compartments that require close collaboration with Interior Ministry structures.”