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Yearbook 2001

Romania. According to Countryaah, the Social Democrats' minority government managed to reach an agreement on social stability at the beginning of the year. The government promised increased wages, increased pensions and efforts to combat unemployment, and the union then agreed to abstain from strikes for one year to give the government work peace for reforms.

2001 Romania

Parliament passed a law in January with the right for original owners to regain property nationalized during the communist era. Critics, however, argued that the law did not go far enough. Hundreds of thousands of buildings were exempted, e.g. hospitals and schools, even many that were confiscated from Jews during World War II. But Romania's Hungarian minority supported the decision, including the Hungarians have the right to claim many church buildings.

After a long and intense public debate, Bukarest's mayor decided in the spring that all the stray dogs of the city should be killed. There are reportedly about 300,000 of these. The proposal had been heavily criticized by animal rights activists led by French ex-actress Brigitte Bardot.

In June, the Romanian government condemned a new Hungarian law that was considered discriminatory because it granted special rights to ethnic Hungarians in neighboring countries. From 2002 onwards, they would, according to the law, be entitled to, among other things, education, work and free health care in Hungary. Nearly 1.7 million ethnic Hungarians live in Romania. At the end of 2001, Romania reached an agreement with Hungary that the new law should apply equally to all Romanian citizens.

Social peace did not last year. About 10,000 workers demonstrated in Bucharest in November demanding the resignation of the government. Life was better under communism, some of them claimed, and believed that the promises of higher wages and pensions had been broken. They also condemned price increases for basic service. After three years of economic decline, more than a third of the population was estimated to live below the poverty line, ie. a monthly income of approximately SEK 400. Although the economy began to recover and was expected to grow substantially in 2001, the hard-pressed population did not yet notice any standard improvement.

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