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Bucharest
October 27, 2020
POLITICS

Emil Boc threatens to dismiss Statistics head

According to sources close to Victoria Palace, the Executive takes into account extending the census period unless INS meets completion deadline.

By    Daniela  Baragan

The scandal surrounding the ongoing census risks getting bigger, with official sources cited by Mediafax saying that, during a government meeting Wednesday evening, Emil Boc threatened he would dismiss National Institute of Statistics (INS) Director Vergiliu Voineagu, as the PM was unhappy about the blunders surrounding CNP declaration being mandatory, and how the census has been carried out so far. “It was a tense discussion in Government, with the INS head being called to make a presentation on the census,” the quoted sources said, according to whom Boc told Voineagu that has happened so far <the personal identification number scandal> “is a supreme form of incompetence,” demanding that the INS head remedy the problem with a “minimum of discomfort”.

Thousands of censure interviewers withdrawing from the action from various reasons last week, including the jobless participating in the action continuing to receive their unemployment benefits during the census interval, is another reason for Government discontent. The sources however said that Emil Boc had been informed a mere 605 censure interviewers are from among the unemployed, which is therefore not reason enough for an amendment to the normative act being issued.

Adding to the controversy is the Government pondering on extending the census periods unless INS meets the completion deadline. “The INS president was summoned to lay out by Friday at the latest concrete data whether the census will be concluded within the established deadline. Unless so, Government will issue a normative document extending the census period,” the quoted sources said.

According to INS data, 4 M homesteads, 46.44 pc, and 9,806,128 people  have been subjected to the census, which started on Oct 20 and is slated for completion on Oct 31.

INS: We will only take the CNPs from the public registry as a last resort

In his turn, Stefan Trica, head of the INS Census Department, said that the INS could legally obtain the personal identification number (CNP) from mayoralties or the Public Registry, yet only as a means of last resort. “We won’t resort to institutions, although the law allows us to. Each mayoralty has the CNPs, although written by another person, not the titular. We want the person to declare their CNP,” Stefan Trica said, who added that by the end of the census, census interviewers must recover the CNPs undeclared on the grounds of their holders being unaware they had to do it or of the census interviewers’ failure to ask for it.

Authorities appear to have found a solution about the persons who did not declare their CNP, namely by increasing the interviewers number, as announced by Bucharest Prefect Mihai Atanasoaei, so that some of them will continue taking the census while the others are working on filling out the missing data. According to Atanasoaie, there is a reserve pool of census interviewers, 10 pc, who can be asked to join, with the number of interviewers being supplemented by nearly 600 people.

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