1,000 protest after Romania burden workers with extra taxes
BUCHAREST, Romania (AP) — More than 1,000 people protested Wednesday against Romania’s leftist government after it proved an unpopular measure that means workers will pay social welfare taxes currently paid by employers.
About 500 demonstrators massed outside the government offices earlier in the day to voice their opposition to the measure, yelling “the tax code, a national disaster!”
The protest gradually diminished but as night fell, more than 1,000 massed outside the government’s main offices, and chanted “Down, down, down with the lying government!”
President Klaus Iohannis, trade unions, investors associations and ordinary Romanians oppose the changes, saying they would mean an effective cut to wages.
Finance Minister Ionut Misa insisted both companies and employees would benefit. The government passed the measure in an emergency ordinance Wednesday.
Social welfare taxes have until now been jointly paid by workers and their employers.
The national currency, the leu, dropped Wednesday to 4.61 per euro, the lowest since 2012.