facts & figures

Romania

On the 30th of June, 2011, the Baia Mare town council initiated the construction of a wall, 1,8 metres tall and 100 metres long, separating a Roma community from the rest of the citizens. Mayor Cătălin Cherecheș says this is not a wall, but a “delimitation”: “We delimit the residential area from the street/traffic area.” Following accusations from the media and human rights organisations, which claim that building the wall will lead to “ghetto-ing and humiliating the Roma, by subjecting them to a degrading treatment”, mayor Cherecheș replies that the action is “a step forward, towards civilisation and emancipation”.

In the Philippines, a babysitter earns no more than 50 dollars a month. In Romania, for wages of 300 to 500 dollars, they are willing to do other chores apart from taking care of the children: cooking, housecleaning, laundry. You could call them domestic slaves. They are very submissive. That is why they’re in such demand,” declared for the media a representative of yet another recruitment and placement company in Romania. He also advises families who employ Filipina babysitters “to withhold their passports or other important documents. That way, they will certainly not steal anything from the house and run away.” The Romanian Immigration Office cannot make periodic checks on the working conditions of Filipina workers, since they are on private property.

 A considerable scandal broke out in Sibiu when councilors, directors and doctors were found to have benefited from disability benefits while being healthy. A verification from the Superior Commission for the Verification of Disabled Adults – a body of the Ministry of Labour – found that hundreds of people were issued disability certificates they had no right to. Legally, apart from a monthly pension of 200 to 300 lei, holders of such certificates are also entitled to several facilities, being exempt from payment of the building tax, property owner’s tax, and salary tax. Around 20 people with neuromotor disabilities protested in the Sibiu city centre on the International Day of Persons with Disabilities, demanding that amputees no longer be summoned for reevaluation.

“In Romania, one church opens every other day, and three schools close every day,” Deutsche Welle (DW) commented in a feature on the Romanian People’s Salvation Cathedral. The fast-growing edifice will cost approximately 600 million euro, with the Romanian government pitching in for the building of the new cathedral. Money doesn’t seem to be a problem, and the current government wants to stay in good relations with the Romanian Orthodox Church, journalists say.