POLITICS

Dispute within USL continues on the issue of family

The chairman of the Committee for the revision of the Constitution supports the amendments voted last week by the members of the Committee he chairs.

The amendments voted last week by the members of the Committee for the Revision of the Constitution, led by PNL leader Crin Antonescu (photo), continues to spark heated reactions both inside USL and between the representatives of the Committee and those of the Opposition. Saturday evening, in a TV show Antonescu provided several explanations about the article which defines in the Constitution the marriage as the relation between a man and a wife, an article that was criticised by the representatives of PSD, starting with Premier Victor Ponta, and also by those of PDL. The speaker of the Senate thus affirmed that the “matrix of the family” is the marriage between a man and a woman, but he can agree to the legalisation of civil partnerships between persons of the same sex, adding that he does not support the adoptions by such couples. He explained that the adoption of this article was related to the agreed amendment on discrimination. In fact, dozens of NGOs declared their concern regarding Ponta’s statement about keeping in the present form the constitutional article about family which, in their opinion, shows “a minimisation of the state’s responsibility in securing the adequate framework for the development of new generations.”
In a separate move, Antonescu said that, in the case of the amendment that instates an equal legal regime between the legal regime of contributions and that of claims against the state, one cannot bring arguments the kind of there are no money in the budget. “The principle of an equal legal regime between state and any other taxpayer, between citizens natural persons or between private companies, this is a principle which in my opinion neither the discontentment of the prime minister, no matter his name, nor the discontentment of a Finance minister, not even the discontentment of the bureaucracy within the Ministry of Finance cannot prevent,” the speaker of the Committee for the revision of the Constitution stated, quoted by Mediafax. He expressed his hope that, following discussions with the premier, he will find “a formula” for regulating this principle, as there is the option of adding the expression “under legal conditions.”

PDL threatens with boycott
PDL spokeswoman Adriana Saftoiu said Friday that PDL will ask the population not to vote in the referendum if the revised Constitution maintains the bicameral parliament, as stipulated by an amendment voted last Thursday, and does not limit the number of MPs at 300. She criticised the fact that the Committee rejected the amendments that gave “strength” to the institution of the referendum, while approving modifications which transform the Constitution “into a set of methodological norms for enacting the obsessions of USL.”
The former presidential aide added that PDL will not support the amendment about tapping phones without approval for a 48-hour interval, but will support the amendment which sanctions turncoat politicians. In her turn, PDL deputy Elena Udrea said that she finds “embarrassing” the way the members of the Parliament work to the Constitution and while other countries have simple constitutions, in Romania “one must write even what MPs are allowed to eat,” only because some people “want to be initiators of articles.”
On Sunday PDL MEP Monica Macovei said none of her proposals for amending the constitution have been taken into consideration. “I want to draw the attention that, if the constitution revision is ignoring the result of the 2009 referendum that pointed to one chamber parliament and 300 MPs, than any other amendment is unconstitutional,” Macovei said.

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