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June 22, 2021

Gov’t could recover the money from local authorities, under certain conditions

The Constitutional Court (CC) declared as unconstitutional the ordinance that demanded mayors’ offices to return the money they had received this year from the previous government, following a complaint filed by the Ombudsman. CC explained that the government may take back from local administrations only the sums allotted by the former Mihai-Razvan Ungureanu Cabinet that were have not been already spent, those that are not used for paying arrears, and those that will not be used in projects financed with European money. Out of the RON 648 M allotted by the former government, a total sum of RON 387 M was due to be recovered.In retort to the verdict, PM Ponta accused CC of being “unfriendly” towards the USL government, reproaching that it intervened in the emergency ordinance that recovers the money, although in the past constitutional judges had accepted – through three successive verdicts – a similar emergency ordinance issued by the Boc Cabinet in December 2008, aimed at recovering money previously granted by the Tariceanu Cabinet. “I don’t know whether someone mistook PDL mayors for the Romanian people. If the Ombudsman sees these notions as being the same, I believe this is a mistake he must admit. I believe that the role of a fundamental institution is defending the Romanian population, rather than paying political debts to those that appointed it,” Ponta said on Friday. In retort, PDL hailed the CC decision and blamed Ponta. PDL leader Emil Boc said that the Court verdict proves that Ponta is Romania’s “first prosecutor of unconstitutional law,” while the secretary general of the party, Vasile Blaga said that law is stronger than the Ponta cabinet that “illegally took money back from communities.”  (Lavinia Serban)

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