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February 4, 2023

Statistics head considers resignation over census

Vergil Voineagu says he had difficulties in promoting the census through private TV stations that wanted to charge him ROL 900 M.

Threatened with dismissal by PM Emil Boc, the President of the National Statistics Institute (INS), Vergil Voineag, at the weekend stated he was considering resignation from his office following the ‘disarray’ with the census of the population. ‘I am considering resignation from INS’, ziare.com quotes Voineagu as stating. Far from taking any responsibility for the babbling accompanying this census (the scandal over the compulsory/not compulsory disclosure of the personal identification number – our note), the head of INS claims he had major difficulties when it came to promoting the census through private TV stations which wanted to charge him ROL 900 M, suggesting that the misunderstandings were somehow caused by their refusal to publicise the action. According to Voineagu, although the National Broadcasting Council (CNA) made a recommendation to TV stations to accept to promote the referendum free of charge, all refused with the exception of the public television, TVR.

As for the authorities’ decision to put to the disposal of the population the virtual census procedure, published on the website of the 2011 people and housing census on Friday, Voineagu noted that it was by no means transforming the census into a semi-online one. ‘It is not a semi-online census, the procedure is similar to the one we use with people who are abroad’, he explained, noting that, based on the data he held, there was nothing to suggest that the deadline of October 31 would not be met.

According to the INS representative, the self-enumeration is only applicable to Bucharest. People would need to download the census forms from the website, fill it in and then mail, e-mail or take it personally to their sector administration offices.

Based on the data so far presented by ISN, the progress after the first eight census days is over 81 per cent of the total number of households – 7,024,294 de and 81.81 per cent of the estimated total of 8,617,590. The top five counties are still Covasna –  89.74%, Valcea – 89,45%, Brasov – 89.3%, Arad – 88.01% and Bihor – 87.39%. Bucharest is still in the tail of the standings with the lowest census completion rate: over 66 per cent households, followed by the counties of Ilfov – 76.04%, Constanta – 77.86%, Sibiu – 79.72% and Gorj – 80.07%.

Bucharesters ‘leave stickers with the CNP on entrance doors for fear of fines’

While so far they have been refusing to disclose it, the people of Bucharest are now leaving stickers with their personal identification numbers (CNP) on the entrance doors fearing the fines they may have to pay. The statement was made by the head of the INS Directorate for Statistics and People Census, Stefan Trica, who said those are generally people who work during the day and who want to avoid having to pay a fine for not being found at home by census takers and therefore not being able to fill in their CNP.

PSD spokesperson: I will sue the Government if i get a fine

On the other hand, the opposition sticks to its position and threaten to sue the Government is they are fined for refusing to disclose the CNP. PSD spokesman Emil Radu Moldovan told a press conference on Friday that he would sue the Government if he is fined for not disclosing his CNP in the census. ‘He (the census taker – our note) asked for all my data, but not the CNP. So I didn’t report it. I now understand he will have to visit me again. (…) Mr. Boc will probably fine me, but I am looking forward to it. I will sue this incompetent and corrupt Government and I will win’, Moldovan is quoted by Mediafax as saying. He also reiterated his conviction that the personal identification numbers collected during the census would be put to good electoral use in the 2012 polls.

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