Constitutional Court rules 2012 pension, wage freeze constitutional

The opposition says the decision confirms that the institution has turned into an appendix to the Cotroceni Palace and Government.

By    Daniela Baragan

The Constitutional Court (CC) yesterday denied the motion submitted by USL against the law by which the power had introduced a pension and public sector wage freeze in 2012. The court’s decision was predictable, PSD leader Victor Ponta saying it only shoes that the CC has turned into an appendix to the Cotroceni Palace and the Government. ‘Traian Basescu has called the Constitutional Court judges <embarrassing figures> and he was unfortunately right. It is now pointlessly to expect any fair decisions from the Court’, Mediafax quotes Ponta as having said. He noted that USL would propose the changing of the Constitutional Court Law in order for judges to only be appointed from among High Court judges to make sure that we only have there career magistrates and not some ‘political merry andrews’. On November 16, President Traian Basescu was stating on public radio that, irrespective of what the CC says about the pension and wage freeze in 2012, ‘there is no money’. His statements enraged the opposition who afterwards announced the beginning of the impeachment procedure against the head of state.

On the other hand, the Constitutional Court judges yesterday postponed a decision on Mircea Geoana’s recalling from his position as Senate Speaker until December 20. Within hours of losing the second most important office in the state, Geoana submitted a complaint to the CC, arguing that the voting approving the termination of his term was political, and he respected that, but the reasons given by the PSD group complied with neither the Regulation of the chamber nor the Constitution.

December 20 is also the deadline by which the Constitutional Court intends to look into the petition filed by PSD yesterday and challenging the election of Vasile Blaga (PDL) as Speaker of the Senate, replacing Mircea Geoana. Mediafax quotes official sources as saying that the two petitions (Geoana and PSD’s – our note) might be heard together by the CC judges who will rule afterwards.

As for the complaint submitted yesterday by PSD, Senator Dan Sova said it was ‘a technical thing’, resuming the demonstration made back in 2005, ‘namely that the speaker (of the Senate – our note) should have been from PSD because that was the algorithm resulting from election. ‘PSD obtained the largest number of votes in election and it was entitled to the presidency of one of the two chambers. We will see what the Court decides’, Sova said. The Social-Democrats’ complaint challenging Blaga’s appointment as head of the Senate is not a surprise either, as PSD announced such intention on the same day he was elected. On November 28, Vasile Blaga was elected as Speaker of the Senate with 69 votes ‘in favour’ compared to 63 votes the candidate of the opposition, Titus Corlatean, gathered. The new Senate speaker was elected after Mircea Geoana, expelled from the party, had been recalled on PSD’s request.

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