Tens of thousands of public sector workers went on strike yesterday, May 31, against the government’s austerity plan, which includes cuts in pay and pensions. The austerity package, coming into effect on June 1st, will see public sector wages slashed by 25% and pensions and unemployment benefits by 15%, with the aim of reducing the budget deficit to 6.8% of GDP. All government spending will be cut by 20% and anywhere between 80,000 and 300,000 workers out of a total of 1.4 million in the state sector will be sacked.

We republish this article written by Alan Woods in 1990 about the process of capitalist restoration in Romania. At that time the miners had marched on the capital Bucarest and clashed with the pro-capitalist students who were organising demonstrations. Alan Woods analysed the situation from a class point of view.

On January 1999 the Romanian miners marched again on the capital Bucarest in opposition to plans to close the mines. As a result miners' leader Miron Cozma was sentenced to 18 years of jail and arrested during violent clashes between miners and riot police. The miners from the Jiu Valley have a long and proud history of struggle. Alan Woods examines the implications for the process of capitalist restoration in Romania.

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