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Romanian report Romanian report
by Euro Reporter
2011-08-10 09:15:00
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Jewish group urges Romania to change anti-Semitic definition

A Jewish group on Tuesday urged Romania to change the definition of an anti-Semitic word included in a widely-circulated dictionary, saying it was "an expression of racism in its purest form."  

"We are calling on the Academy to correct without delay the shameful and offending definition of the word 'jidan'," the Centre for Monitoring and Combating Anti-Semitism in Romania (MCA) said in a letter. Defined in an earlier edition as a "familiar and pejorative" term, the word is described as a "popular" alternative name for Jew in the 2009 edition. "This definition turns the most abject expression of anti-Semitism into a mere synonym for Jew," MCA stressed. The group said that "'Jidan' was the last word to be heard by the hundreds  of thousands Jews whose belongings were stolen and burnt and who were themselves crammed into death trains or killed like animals simply because they were born Jewish."  

"This definition is harmful to Romanian society and likely to encourage nationalist and chauvinist propaganda," MCA said. Between 280,000 and 380,000 Romanian and Ukrainian Jews died in the Holocaust in Romania and the territories under its control, according to an international commission of historians headed by Nobel Peace Prize laureate Elie Wiesel, himself a Romanian-born Jew.


President to hold crisis talks

Romania's president has summoned the central bank governor, the prime minister and other key finance officials to discuss the effects of the financial crisis.

Traian Basescu is to meet Mugur Isarescu, governor of the National Bank of Romania, Prime Minister Emil Boc, Finance Minister Gheorghe Ialomiteanu and others later Tuesday to discuss developments in global financial crisis, his office said.

Reacting to world financial markets, the Bucharest BVB stock exchange dipped 10 percent Tuesday. Shares of major Romanian oil company Petrom fell by 12.26 percent. Last week, the International Monetary Fund said Romania's economy is set to grow this year by 1.5 percent after two years of economic decline. The country has a very high sales tax and public sector wages were slashed a year ago.


Romania should stay cautious to secure growth

Romanian President Train Basescu on Tuesday called on the government to remain cautious and to continue to cut back public spending in the current difficult global economic context. He refused to use the word crisis to qualify the instability on financial markets, calling it instead a mere "reaction" to "unconvincing measures taken by politicians in Europe and in the US."

"Romania should remain cautious. We have managed to restore some fragile macroeconomic indicators but the international situation requires us to be cautious and prudent." The president asked the ruling coalition parties not to indulge in "populism" by promising salaries or pensions rises that would expand deficits and add to the debt. Romania's public debt amounts to 37 percent of its GDP. The country was severely hit by a two-year recession in 2009 and 2010.

It was among the first in the European Union to benefit from an emergency 20-billion-euro aid package for non-eurozone countries from the International Monetary Fund, the EU and the World Bank. In exchange, the centre-right government cut public sector wages by 25 percent in 2010 and hiked the VAT sales tax from 19 to 24 percent. It also launched reforms to reduce public spending. The agreement with the IMF was successfully completed at the beginning of this year. The Balkan country should book 1.5 percent growth this year, according to the IMF and the EU.

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