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Nicolae, Caterina

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5 articles of this author have been cited in the European Press Review so far.

Gândul - Romania | 11/11/2008

The crisis could force Romanians to return home

Spanish and Italian trade unions estimate that in the next few months up to 500,000 Romanian workers could return to their home country. This could represent a great opportunity for Romania, writes the daily Gandul. "It's useless to seek work in other countries: the crisis has hit all of Europe. ... The only solution is to return home. ... If you live in the countryside you needn't fear having to go hungry; no matter how little land you own you'll always have a chicken, a potato or a tomato. ... And no matter how bad the crisis gets, there'll always be a couple of jobs. For a year now, since the labour shortages started, it's not the growing salaries or Romania losing good workers that entrepreneurs have been complaining about but the fact that they can't find any specialists or qualified workers. The pressure of those returning could have a positive effect: competition on the labour market will lead to higher productivity."

Gândul - Romania | 15/08/2008

Early retirement nation

"Romanian pensions are embarrasingly low compared with the rest of the EU", writes the newspaper Gândul, commenting that this becomes obvious as soon as you cross the border to Western Euope: "Elderly people wear fashionable hairstyles and new suits, while retired pairs drive around in convertibles. In Spain pensions are four times, in Belgium six times, and in Luxembourg ten times higher than the Romanian average (of around 140 euros). ... Other European countries are trying to raise the retirement age, while here the laws encourage lowering, rather than raising it. ... Nowhere in the world has raising the retirement age been met with sympathy, but here politicians do not lose a word over it. Yet a national study calls for an end to early retirement and concludes it is urgent that the retirement age be raised. Not because people have a huge desire go on working, but because in ten or twenty years pensions in Romania will be at starvation levels."

Gândul - Romania | 23/04/2008

Romania needs workers

Romania is suffering from labour shortages. Caterina Nicolae reports: "In the construction industry, 58 percent of vacancies remain unfilled, and in the tourist industry it's 49 percent. When a public post is advertised in small towns the hiring committee grows old before someone applies. Everyone knows that manpower - whether it's university graduates or unskilled labour - is in short supply. In 1989 there were eight million working people. Today there are only five million; three million have left the country. Employers are clamouring for employees. Now they've calculated how much the average wage would have to be to solve the labour shortages: between 500 and 800 euros - that's half the average wage in the West."

Gândul - Romania | 25/03/2008

Strikes in the age of globalisation

The Romanian car manufacturer Dacia, which belongs to the French Renault group, has been on strike since Sunday. The company's 13,000 employees want a slice of the company's growing profits and a 65-percent pay rise. Caterina Nicolae comments: "The demand for a monthly wage of 550 lei [150 euros] is the highest to have been made in Romania in several years. Workers for Ford, Nokia and other multinationals that want to set up production facilities here in Romania will probably learn from Dacia's experiences. However, the multinationals will only stay in Romania as long as the wages don't have a negative impact on their profit margins. If salaries rise to Western levels, these companies will move to cheaper countries - a practice known as 'caravan capitalism'. That's why there's only one solution for the richer French and the poorer Romanians: 'trade unions all over the world, unite!'".

Gândul - Romania | 05/01/2008

Romanians want to earn more

Caterina Nicolae asks how much Romanians will earn in 2008: "In October 2007 the average salary was 450 euros, but not even 14 percent of Romania's 4.7 million workers make that much. Of course there are the lucky ones who earn more, whether in finance, the public sector or the military. But many whose salary converts into 270 euros - significantly below the average - work in the hotel and restaurant industry, in textile manufacturing or agriculture. … Now, with their entry into the EU, Romanians have become familiar with both western prices and western salaries. So nowadays anyone who hasn't yet emigrated can make it unequivocally clear what salary he wants for his qualifications, in order to pay the rent or do the shopping. This raises the question of where he will be earning that money – in Romania or abroad?"

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