Government spokesperson Dan Suciu stated yesterday that the government is analyzing the situation created after the Constitutional Court decided that only pensioners with pensions that surpass RON 740 should pay health insurance contributions. Although Suciu avoided giving any other details in this regard, political sources quoted by Mediafax claim that the data analyzed at government level shows that RON 650 M would be needed just to give back the health insurance contributions that pensioners have paid so far this year, contributions that were deemed unconstitutional. As a result, opinions within the ruling coalition differ. “Some members of the coalition insist on giving back the contributions paid by pensioners whose pensions are lower than RON 740, even in installments, while others claim the law does not act retroactively and ask for the funds to be used to restore public sector salaries to their pre-crisis levels,” the aforementioned sources pointed out. UDMR Senator Fekete Andras confirmed in his turn that the government is analyzing the situation, pointing out that possible solutions will be discussed during the government meeting scheduled today. “The Premier stated that he is trying to find financial and legal solutions to this situation. Contributions are no longer collected after the Constitutional Court decision. But solutions have to be found to this,” Andras stated. UDMR Vice President Laszlo Borbely stated that the issue was discussed with the Finance Minister too. He underlined that the Constitutional Court’s decision has to be respected, but that any decision taken will not be applied retroactively. According to PSD President Victor Ponta, “the PDL government, the Boc and then Ungureanu governments have interpreted legal provisions mistakenly and with ill intent,” so that the government should immediately pay back the contributions pensioners have paid since 2011.
UNJR: Courts beset by pensioners’ complaints, we ask government to take measures.
While courts are stormed by pensioners that form long lines in order to file requests to have the sums they paid as health insurance contributions restituted, the National Union of Judges in Romania (UNJR) is asking the government to take measures in order to solve the problems, warning that a new wave of litigations would block the activity of labor litigation sections. “The National Union of Judges in Romania (UNJR) worryingly takes note of the fact that, as a consequence of Constitutional Court Decisions 223 and 224 taken on March 13, 2012 and published in the Official Gazette, courts are beset by the pensioners’ requests to have their health insurance contributions restituted. Considering that at this moment courts have to solve a very large number of cases, which affects the speed of the trials, a new wave of litigations would result in blocking the activity of sections specializing in labor litigations,” a UNJR communiqué reads. According to the aforementioned source, by adopting “legislative and administrative” measures the government could avoid the immense expenditure and the gridlock resulting from these litigations. On the other hand, a National Federation of Pensioners’ Trade Unions (FNSPR) representative has filed yesterday a memo asking for a meeting with Prime Minister Ungureanu. According to the memo, FNSPR wants to present Premier Ungureanu the solutions it deems necessary in order to overcome the situation that has appeared as a consequence of the Constitutional Court decision.
Queues continuing outside Arges Court.
Pensioners have gathered in front of the Arges Court for the third consecutive week in order to file suits against the state. Thus, over 200 pensioners formed queues once again yesterday morning outside the Arges Court, some of them showing up as early as 4 AM, four and a half hours before the court opened.