204 vizualizări 9 iun 2010

After the 25% salary cut, Romania's state employees will have the smallest wages in the entire European Union. Romanian state employees will be paid 1.1% less than their Bulgarian counterparts, teachers will receive salaries 5.3% smaller than Bulgarian ones and doctors will make 27% less than Bulgarian doctors, according to calculations made by Gândul using official statistical data from both countries. As compared to Hungarian state employees, Romanian ones earn a lot less; 38% less in the health and education sectors and 32% less in the public administration sector.

Our neighbors make more money even though they too are cutting back. After freezing state employee salaries, eliminated the 13th yearly pension and increasing retirement age from 62 to 65 until 2012 the Hungarian government announced 29 new reform measures yesterday. Amongst these - a 15% cut in state employee salaries, but also taxing banks, eliminating free work cars and reducing taxes applied to companies. The Sofia Government also recently adopted a package of 60 anti-crisis measures that include a 10% salary cut in public sectors that have not reduced their personnel numbers, postponing their pension increase and luxury taxes for expensive homes and cars.

After the 25% salary cut, Romania's state employees will have the smallest wages in the entire European Union: a state employee will be earning an average of 394 Euro/month, a teacher will be receiving 306 Euro while in the health sector average net salary will be of 244 euro, according to calculations made by Gândul using data from the National Institute of Statistics (INS) valid as of the end of the 1st quarter.

Statistically speaking we weren't doing that good before in this respect, but at least the salaries of Romanian state employees exceeded those of our neighbor state employees south of the Danube. But as soon as the Government applies the austerity measures, Romanian state employees will be paid 1.1% less than their Bulgarian counterparts, teachers will receive salaries 5.3% smaller than Bulgarian ones and doctors will make 27% less than Bulgarian doctors, according to calculations made by Gândul using official statistical data from both countries.

As compared to Hungarian state employees, Romanian ones earn a lot less; 38% less in the health and education sectors and 32% less in the public administration sector. "Why wonder why we have the smallest salaries when that's what our political class is setting us up for... That is while state employees in countries that joined the EU before Romania and Bulgaria earn on average 840 Euro, with 1400 Euro in Slovenia and 1500 Euro in the Czech Republic while in older European member states average net salary is of 2700 Euro", stated for Gândul Vasile Marica, President of the Sed Lex National Alliance of State Employee Trade Unions.

Our neighbors cut back a while ago

The decision to cut 25% of Romanian state employee salaries, accompanied by a 15% cut in pensions comes in the context of the austerity measures the Government assumed responsibility for in order to reduce the budget deficit from 9.1% to 6.8%, as per the deal reached with the IMF.

Upon applying these cutbacks, the Government hopes to save 2.6-2.7 billion Euro in the second half of the year, namely 2.3% of GDP, as Sebastian Vlădescu, Minister of Finance, recently announced. Hungary too made cutbacks when it comes to reducing state expenses, and it made them last year.

Amongst others, the Budapest Government took the decision to freeze state employee salaries, eliminated the 13th yearly pension and raised retirement age from 62 to 65 until 2012. As regards taxes and duties, VAT was increased from 20% to 25%, and excise taxes on cigarettes, alcohol and fuel were hiked one percentage point, up to 6%. Yesterday the Hungarian Prime Minister announced new reform measures aiming to cut the budget deficit, which include a 15% cut in state employee salaries but also taxing banks, eliminating free work cars and reducing taxes applied to companies, from a total of 29 measures.

The Sofia Government recently adopted a package of 60 anti-crisis measures meant to reduce budgetary expenses and increase state income by 818 million Euro. The proposals of the Bulgarian Government include a 10% salary cut in public sectors that have not reduced their personnel numbers, postponing their pension increase and luxury taxes for expensive homes and cars.

Romanian bank employees earn better than theirs do

Romanians make up for it with our Hungarian and Bulgarian neighbors when it comes to the field of financial intermediation and insurance, where the largest salaries are recorded.

As such, at the end of the 1st quarter, brokers, dealers and employees of Romanian banks earned an average of 951 Euro, 9% more than Hungarians (872 Euro) and 46% more than their Bulgarian counterparts (651 Euro).

"Salaries in financial intermediation have grown a lot ever since bank salaries started going up a few years ago in banks in Romania. There was a lot of competition back then to attract trained personnel. I don't think this has happened in other countries", stated for Gândul Aurelian Dochia, managing partner with the Concept financial consultancy company. Practically, the salary differences have to do with the specifics of the financial market, with the deficit of qualified labor force in the field.

"It is possible that our Hungarian and Bulgarian neighbors have a more qualified labor force than we do", added Dochia.

Romanian real estate agents were hit hard by the crisis

Financial intermediation is the only field in which Romania stands clearly above the two other countries. In others, the differences are mostly in favor of our neighbors. For example, in real estate, a sector that was booming in the years prior to the crisis, Romanians ended up being paid an average of 319 Euro per month, a lot less than Hungarian (414 Euro) and Bulgarian (354 Euro) real estate agents. It is true however that residence and land price increases were lower than in Romania, and the sector did contract less during the recession.

"In real estate salary is made up of a very small fixed part and a variable commission. Now salaries have gone down because the commission has gone down on account of a drop in transactions but also because transactions are being closed at smaller values", explained to us Antonio Zărnescu, General Manager of Adviser Management Solutions. He reminds us of a time Romanians bought houses and lands without thinking about it, pressured that they could lose the deal if they would wait a few days more, but also wanting to get rich over night.

"Before, waiting was a problem for the buyer, who was anxious to buy, now waiting has become a smart thing, because everyone is hoping prices go down", added Zărnescu.

Romanians make less than our neighbors in the field of electricity production and supply, even though it has important resources. As such, while Bulgarians receive an average of 663 Euro per month and Hungarians 689 Euro per month average net salary in Romania in this field is of 626 Euro.

"In Romania almost 80% of employees in electricity production and supply are state employees. In the 1990s their salaries were higher than those of other state employees, but after 2004 the difference grew less. Bulgaria is the same as Romania was back then", explained officials in the energy sector. More so, half of electricity production south of the Danube is nuclear, which explains the higher salaries due to bonuses.

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