Nicu Popescu is the face of Romania’s gas crisis. His country has been severely affected by Russia’s decision to slash natural gas exports in order to punish Ukraine for its pro-Western stance. Nicu, who lives with his wife and three children in Bucharest, is a hardworking man who always tries to remain positive about his situation: “I am happy and I am grateful because we still have work.” But he also acknowledges that times are tough: “There is no more heating during these days, there is no hot water at all.”
This article discusses how Nicu Popescu deals with the Romanian gas crisis as well as what it means for him and his family. It also tells you what’s being done about it.
Nicu Popescu is a pseudonym, the man doesn’t want to be identified for fear of losing his job.
The Romanian gas crisis has resulted in massive lay-offs in the oil and gas business over the past few weeks. What would have once been employed are now struggling to get new jobs or are forced to work part-time.
It has created the so-called Charter for the Protection of Those Affected by the Crisis in Oil & Gas Exploration and Production Activity. This document guarantees earned earned benefits, support for job searching and job training to these people.
With the gas crisis, Nicu Popescu is facing the following problems:
The heating system has been turned off in their home until further notice for which they are unable to pay. They now try to move around as little as possible during the day and wear layers of clothes at home. His 9-year old daughter has caught a cold because of the climate changes in the house. They are lucky that they have gas for cooking, otherwise they would have to buy food at their local supermarket which is more expensive.
It’s not easy for Nicu Popescu to find new employment. Finding work while being unemployed is very difficult due to competition from the unemployment offices. However, he is trying everything to find a new job as quickly as possible. He has already had one job interview for which he came second, but was told that he would be contacted should the first candidate not come.
The lack of heating poses a specific problem because it makes going to work difficult. The company where he works at does not have any office hours, so it’s hard to judge when the business would open. Nicu Popescu has since applied for home-office hours with his boss.
Nicu Popescu does not think the gas crisis will last forever, but he is also aware that it could take a while until things get back to normal again.