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February 8, 2023

Igas on Police layoffs: It is the poorly performing people who will go

The minister holds no citizen will suffer as a result of system downsizing.

Layoffs continue at the Ministry of Administration and Interior (MAI), according to trade unionists who say that the new organisational charts have already reached the human resources department. The lists were sent by county inspectorates towards signing by Minister Traian Igas.

“Ninety per cent of the police to leave are from among those who generate citizen safety, very many police agents and police officers who are working hard, not those who hide in offices. Sixty agents will leave from the Vaslui Border Police alone,” Realitatea TV quoted Iulian Surugiu, president of the National Union of Police Agents, as saying. Surugiu maintains that what the MAI is undergoing is not restructuring, an institutional reform, as ministry officials claim, but “layoffs grounded in financial reasons exclusively.” Vasile Lincu, president of the Pro Lex National Union of Police and Customs Officers confirmed.

“The law is not complied with and abuses are being made. Those <with the operative structures> are the most numerous to be affected by this reorganization,” Lincu said.

The minister of administration and interior replied that only the “poorly performing people” will leave the system, those unable to cope with the current demands, and public order will not be affected. He made the point that what the MAI leadership wants is not to create a state with a low level of public safety, but quite the opposite, to galvanize police activity. “What the union leaders say is untrue. You can’t say that 90 per cent of the police laid off are police who work the streets. I urge union leaders too to be honest and convey the reality, and not panic. The street police to leave are a lot fewer than the rest, yet they will be replaced by other staff, the posts will not remain vacant, they may be filled by this year’s graduates of the Police Academy,” Igas said.

Also, MAI officials announced that the ministry’s Schengen Department will merge with the Department for European Affairs and International Relations, and become subordinate to the newly emerging structure. The decision was reached by the government late last week and seeks to align ministerial structures to internal requirements, including the Schengen acquis, Mediafax reports. Ministry officials say the structural changes operated are not due to bear a negative impact on Romania’s accession process to the Schengen area.

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