Anka: “Join forces and make our voices heard”

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Anka is 28 years old and lives in Bucharest, Romania. She was five years old when the communist dictator was overthrown. She still remembers the long lines in front of the stores, queuing for sugar, bread, flour and eggs.

Anka: “Before the Romanian revolution people had jobs and money, but the shelves in the shops were empty. Now the stores are filled with goods, but we have no money to buy it.”

Anka works full time as an English interpreter at the Metro Company and is an active trade union member. She has studied English at university and dreams of working as an interpreter at the European Parliament in Brussels. Trade union involvement is in her blood, her father was also an active union member. She is one of the young people who has been involved in ETF youth activities.

Anka: “We need to join our forces and make our voices heard. United we stand, divided we fall! We must continue to work for the interests of all employees and campaigning to make sure people realise that they will be stronger when they are union members.”

Anka has left home and bought an apartment, 51 square meters, where she lives with her dog. The bank loan is more than 80% of her salary, so buying an apartment was perhaps not entirely wise, she reflects.

Anka: “I’ll have to pay my mortgage for 30 years long and this is only my third month! Though it’s nice to have your own home and do things my way. But without my parents, I wouldn’t have been able to make it. They financially support me and they help my brother too, who has bought a house.”

Anka talks about a European youth conference she attended where young people called themselves ‘the generation without hope”, the lost generation.

Anka: “I would rather give people a sense of hope, show them that together we can protect our rights. The future is not so dark. When Romania has paid back the loans to the International Monetary Fund and the EU, life will get better.”

Photo and interview: Justina Öster


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