RADIO FREE EUROPE/RADIO LIBERTY, PRAGUE, CZECH REPUBLIC
RFE/RL NEWSLINE 16 December 1999
HUNGARY'S MINERS PROTEST GOVERNMENT'S ENERGY POLICY. Some
3,000 miners and energy workers demonstrated outside the
Finance Ministry in Budapest on 15 December and another
10,000 went on strike to protest government plans to
restructure the country's energy sector, "Nepszabadsag"
reports. The government announced six months ago that coal
mines in northeastern Hungary will be closed down next year,
while power stations are scheduled to convert gradually to
gas. Antal Schalkhammer, president of Miners' Union, said the
plan will lead to 25,000 workers losing their job and will
result in an unemployment rate of 70-80 percent in some
regions. He said the cabinet must create jobs in the crisis
areas before closing the mines. MSZ
ROMANIAN MEDIA SAYS GOVERNMENT TO BE HEADED BY
'TECHNOCRAT'... Romanian media on 15 December reported that
Mugur Isarescu, governor of Romania's National Bank, will be
designated as Romania's next premier. Mediafax said that
Isarescu was called to the presidential palace, where he
participated in the ongoing consultations between President
Emil Constantinescu and leaders of the coalition parties.
Hungarian Democratic Federation of Romania Chairman Bela
Marko, interviewed by Romanian Radio on 16 December, said it
is "very probable" that Isarescu will head the next
government and that changes in the cabinet's line-up are also
likely. Romanian Radio cited AFP as reporting that Isarescu
has demanded "full freedom" in the choice of ministers. The
radio added that the cabinet will have five deputy premiers.
According to a 15 December Mediafax report, one of those
deputies will be Democratic Party leader Petre Roman, who is
currently Senate chairman. MS
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