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Romania’s new government eyes 3.1% minimum wage increase in 2021

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BUCHAREST, Dec 28 (Reuters) – Romania’s minimum wage will rise by 3.1% to a monthly gross of 2,300 lei ($577) from January, a “compromise formula” needed to overhaul the coronavirus-hit economy, Prime Minister Florin Citu said on Monday.

“I can say I’ve found a compromise formula for everyone. The minimum wage, from our point of view, will rise slightly above the inflation rate…seen somewhere at 2, or 1.8%,” Citu told reporters in an online speech.

He said employers sought to have the minimum wage flat, while trade unions targeted a 7.0% rise, adding that his government “supports low incomes and understands costs for entrepreneurs. We can say this is right formula to aid the economy.”

Public sector wages are to stay at current levels, Citu said, until a thorough review of wage legislation is complete. He did not give a timeframe.

The new centre-right coalition government gave Citu last week, a mandate to try to restore confidence in the economy and kick-start investment after years of political instability under leftist-led cabinets.

Next year’s budget bill, due to be announced in coming weeks, will target a 7% deficit, a level that Citu had said did not put a brake on the economy.

Citu’s team must shore up public finances and convince ratings agencies it can keep its public debt under control or risk losing its investment grade status. Agencies have Romania just one-notch closer to junk grade, with negative outlooks. ($1 = 3.98 lei) (Reporting by Radu Marinas; Editing by Angus MacSwan)

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