The President of the National Authority for the Restitution of Properties (ANRP), George Baesu, (photo) as well as the two vice-presidents have resigned office on Monday.
Baesu has presented to the prime minister his resignation, the resignations of the other members of the leadership of the institution as well as a complaint stating that ANRP leaders must pay fines for the non-payment of damages on time, Mediafax states.
The head of the authority states in his complaint that there are thousands of court actions pending against ANRP where plaintiffs ask for total fines of dozens of thousands of euro against the institution. The sanctions would be for the failure to send or pay within the legal term of 30 days damages for applications going back several years. Court decisions already exist, ordering the institution to pay such fines.
George Baesu: ‘Damages at Monte Carlo prices have been awarded in Bistrita’
‘We have an exceptional situation at ANRP. I believe we are the only institution in Romania against which there are thousands of court cases where people are asking that we should be fined for the failure to pay or issue damages deeds. Under the administrative litigation law, we are being fined by courts not because we do not do well what we do, but because we do not do it within 30 days. In other words, we, who found the filth in the area of property restitutions, end up paying for the fact that other ones have robbed as much as they could in this area. Dissatisfied citizens have taken court actions and the courts are now fining the people who cannot fulfil a decision within 30 days’, Baesu said, according to Mediafax.
Baesu explained that the leaders of ANRP end up paying tens of thousands of euro in that way: ‘We end up paying individually, we who undertook it to tell the truth about what has happened in this field in Romania. We have to travel everywhere in the country to appear in court and the law the way it is today is interpreted by some in the sense that we can also be fined for what happened in the past’.
Victor Ponta: ‘We have an extremely serious problem at ANRP’
After the weekly PSD leadership meeting, Prime Minister Victor Ponta agreed with the ANRP heads, explaining that the problem was an exceptionally serious one as ‘properties cannot be returned in 30 days’. ‘We have an extremely serious problem at ANRP. On the one hand, the prosecutor’s office are conducting broad investigations into the manner in which properties have been returned, (…) and on the other hand the entire ANRP leadership is fined by courts on a daily basis. They are between the nail and the hammer. In February they were given fines worth three times their wages. You cannot be under the pressure of fines applied by courts. I hope we can find a solution for ANRP to be able to function under good and correct conditions’, Ponta said.
The PM thinks it is justified that ‘instead of doing something illegal or pay three times their salary, people preferred to quit’, and adds that the minister of justice and the minister of finance are trying to find a solution. ‘I say they are right and we cannot continue in this way’, Victor Ponta concluded.
Asked what solution he had in mind, Ponta pointed to the Ministry of Finance and Ministry of Justice Baesu’s complaint had referred to and from which he expects an answer by Wednesday, at the Cabinet meeting. ‘I don’t know what the solution is. The minister of justice and the minister of finance are looking for one. Either we find a solution or we perpetuate a blockage’, the premier added.