Got any spare change? Give it to Romania

Fri Jun 18, 2010 8:54am EDT
 
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BUCHAREST (Reuters) - Got any spare change?

Romania's cash-strapped government is asking for donations to a fund set up to boost budget revenues and cushion the impact of the economic crisis, the finance ministry said on Friday.

Earlier this week, the centrist coalition cabinet narrowly won a no-confidence vote in parliament over sharp public sector wage and pensions cuts, key to keeping afloat its 20 billion-euro aid package led by the International Monetary Fund.

"Every person in Romania, except for legal entities, can donate cash into this account," the finance ministry said in a statement introducing its "solidarity fund."

When enforced, pay cuts will buy Romania time to reform its sprawling inefficient public administration and counter tax evasion, which should boost budget revenues.

But with tax receipts expected to disappoint in the first half of the year, every little bit that can be spared is a help.

Officials said the new fund is aimed at public officials who earn additional income on top of regular wages by serving on administrative boards of companies entirely or partially owned by the state.

Prime Minister Emil Boc has also said he will donate his wages to the fund, but the account is open to anyone who wishes to contribute.

Donations can be made by bank transfer to a special account and a list of donations will subsequently be published on the ministry's website.

(Reporting by Luiza Ilie; Editing by Paul Casciato)

 
<p>A Romanian holds a national flag with a "V" sign drawn on it during a protest in front of Romania's Parliament palace in Bucharest June 15, 2010. REUTERS/Bogdan Cristel</p>