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Deputy Premier, Energy Minister Fired

October 18, 1985

BUCHAREST, Romania (AP) _ The communist government fired two ministers because of ″grave deficiencies″ in electricity production and ordered the military to supervise the running of power plants, state-run media said today.

The official Agerpres news agency said Deputy Premier Ion Avram and Minister of Electric Power Nicolae Busui were fired Thursday by President Nicolae Ceausescu, following a meeting of the Communist Party Politburo.

Agerpres said the committee took ″measures for strict order and discipline, with a state of emergency to be declared in the whole electric energy system. ″

The Communist Party newspaper Scinteia said military officials would become involved in the magagement of power-producing enterprises.

The news agency said the two ministers were dismissed ″for failing to carry out the measures established for the implementation of the energy program and for grave deficiencies in the organization, management and control of the electric energy sector.″

Ceausescu’s decree cited ″grave shortcomings″ in the operation of coal- fired power stations.

Scinteia recently reported that coal mines supplying power stations in the Eastern bloc nation came up about 1.5 million tons short of expectations last winter.

According to recent official press reports, coal-powered stations have also been hurt by a lack of spare parts and mechanical failures.

The presidential decree states that the military officials will now be responsible for ″strict observance of technical norms of exploitation and maintenance of equipment and order and discipline rules by workers ... for the prevention of any interruption in the supply of electric power.″

Coal-fired stations contribute about one-third of Romania’s total electricity output. Hydroelectric plants and oil-powered stations generate the rest.

The decree also called on state-run institutions and the population to reduce power consumption to within ″established norms.″

In January, the government adopted strict conservation measures that included the shutting energy-wasting plants, curtailing heat to homes and offices and cutbacks in electricity for lighting.

Periodic blackouts persist in various areas of the country.

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