Next Wednesday (April 17 – a/n), the Government will ask for a vote of confidence in Parliament for its draft law on the compensations to be paid for nationalized properties. The announcement was made yesterday by the Speaker of the Chamber of Deputies, Valeriu Zgonea, after the meeting of the merged Standing Bureaus of the two Chambers. Zgonea noted that the political groups in Parliament had until Monday after-noon to make amendments which will be then sent to the Government and that the two Chambers will sit in session on Wednesday. After the vote, the opposition will have three days to introduce a no confidence vote against the Executive. The Government approved Wednesday evening the draft aw regulating the compensations to be given for nationalized properties and decided to push it through Parliament by asking for a vote of confidence.
On March 20, the Government asked for ECHR’s approval to extend by three weeks the deadline by which it should have adopted the new law regarding the compensations for nationalized properties (the bill was initially supposed to be adopted by April 12 – a/n), so that it had enough time to debate in detail all provisions. At the beginning of this week, PM Victor Ponta said the Government had concluded talks with the specialists of the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) on the draft law on compensations to be paid by the state for nationalized properties and would start the procedure for having it adopted by asking for a vote of confidence in Parliament.
The day after the announcement had been made, the head of the Greek Catholic Church of Romania, Cardinal Lucian Muresan, wrote to the PM asking that he postponed the procedure in Parliament for the reason that the Roman Catholic and the Greek Catholic Churches had not been consulted when the draft law was written. According to the draft law prepared by the Government, former nationalized property owners who cannot get back their assets in kind will receive points with a nominal value of 1 RON counting towards the value of the property, which they can use to buy other properties in auction or can exchange into cash, but only after 2017, within 14 per cent per year of the total amount of points. The last installment will represent 16 per cent of the total number of points awarded, so that the total amount can be paid out over seven years, starting with 2017. On the other hand, former landlords of nationalized properties whose claims have already been processed will receive compensation in cash within five rather than three years as stipulated in the initial version of the law, starting from January 2014, divided into yearly installments of no less than RON 5,000.
The project also includes a distinct chapter with taxation rules where it is shown that the awarding of credit points established under the compensation decision issued in the name of the ownership right holder, former owner or heir of lawful or testamentary hairs of former owners as well as the redemption of such points by individual creditors for the purchase of properties in public auction or exchange of points into cash do not generate taxable income.