Failed rescue of Romania chemical co draws protest

BUCHAREST, Romania -- Hundreds of workers have protested at a Romanian chemical plant after the government scrapped the sale of the debt-ridden company, saying the prospective buyer had failed to prove he could pay.

Economy Minister Daniel Chitoiu suspended the sale of Oltchim late Monday because media magnate Dan Diaconescu did not submit the required documents. On Tuesday, workers_ unpaid for months_ demanded that trade union leaders be fired over the failure of the sale, which they had hoped would bring new cash to pay their salaries.

The plant closed in August and the plant has (EURO)700 million in debts.

Prime Minister Victor Ponta pledged Monday to complete the privatization in 2013. The sale of the chemical plant was demanded by the IMF as a condition of a precautionary standby loan deal.