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Budgetary Austerity Measures Taken by Romania during the Great Recession of 1929-1933 and Reflected in the Specialized Press of the Time


  • Bogdan BUCUR

    () (University of Bucharest)


This article looks at the situation of civil servants in interwar Romania, as a result of global economic and financial crisis, which led, during 1929-1933, to a significant deterioration in the level of wages and living standards for all state employees. As a result of bankruptcies, restrictions in economic activity or application of „sacrifice curves” [curbe de sacrificiu] in the public sector, poverty and unemployment amongst the branches of intellectual labor have reached an alarming rate. Confronted with economic difficulties and the necessity of budgetary compressions, the Romanian state was forced to impose three sacrifice curves (January 1931, January 1932, January 1933) and took various other measures of “harmonization” and “rectification” of the government employees’ remuneration, which resulted in the slashing by more than 50% of the salary of civil servants. As a result of these austerity measures, the specter of extreme hunger, disease, misery and despair (constantly lurking over the troubled, impoverished life of the petty civil servant, whose large families resided mainly in the shabby slums of the big cities) became an objective and recurrent reality for the destiny of this social class throughout the period studied. Dismissals on political grounds, abusive references to the disciplinary committee as a result of “anonymous” denunciation, interminable court processes, complete the picture of the sad miserable lives lived by most of the Romanian petty civil servants.

Suggested Citation

  • Bogdan BUCUR, 2011. "Budgetary Austerity Measures Taken by Romania during the Great Recession of 1929-1933 and Reflected in the Specialized Press of the Time," Revista Romana de Jurnalism si Comunicare - Romanian Journal of Journalism and Communication, University of Bucharest, Faculty of Journalism and Communication Studies – Universitatea din Bucuresti, Facultatea de Jurnalism si Stiintele Comunicarii, issue 3, pages 34-41.
  • Handle: RePEc:foj:journl:y:2011:i:3:p:34-41

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    More about this item


    Poverty; unemployment; abuse; dismissal of civil servants on political grounds.;

    JEL classification:

    • I38 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - Government Programs; Provision and Effects of Welfare Programs


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