Labour Minister Sebastian Lazaroiu stated yesterday after talks within the Senate’s Labour Commission that adopting the social assistance law by the end of the month is not impossible, but that respecting this deadline is crucial in order not to lose the confidence of financial markets. “The worst thing this commission or the Senate’s plenum could to is to postpone the adoption of the law,” Lazaroiu stated, being quoted by Mediafax. The Minister claimed that the displeasure shown by some members of the Opposition with the fact that the Labour Ministry did not draw up the entire package of laws is unjustified because that would have meant disrespect towards the Parliament itself. The draft law on social assistance stipulates the merger of all 54 social benefits into nine categories. During the talks, Lazaroiu also claimed that Greece, Spain and Italy will cut their social budgets and in two-three years’ time Romania will end up spending more on social assistance programmes. He expressed optimism in what concerns the labour restrictions that Spain imposed for Romanian workers, claiming that they will be abrogated before January 2014, the date on which all restrictions on the European labour market will be lifted in line with the EU Treaty. Speaker of the Senate Mircea Geoana criticized yesterday the “suspicious haste” with which the government is trying to adopt the social assistance law under pressure from foreign financial institutions and announced that the Opposition will not back the law in its current form. “Often there is the feeling they copy-pasted from a foreign language. It’s good for the World Bank to offer us consultancy, it’s good to seek the advice of international experts, but maybe it’s better to think for ourselves. My feeling is that others did the thinking,” the Speaker of the Senate stated.