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September 20, 2021

Zgonea, on MPs’ pension law: Things done in closed, obscure spaces generate dissatisfaction

The Speaker of the Chamber of Deputies, Valeriu Zgonea, said, on Wednesday, that it was a mistake for the head of the Statue Committee, Bogdan Niculescu-Duvaz (PSD) not to announce the meeting where the law on the pensions of the members of Parliament was amended, because ‘things done in closed, obscure spaces generate dissatisfaction’.
The Social-Democrat Valeriu Zgonea also said it was useless for him to talk to his party colleague, Bogdan Niculescu-Duvaz, as ‘he agrees with me but does what he wants’.
‘If the chairman of the committee and the committee (the Statute Committee – editor’s note) met without following the procedures we set at the Chamber of Deputies, you have all the right to ask the chairman of the committee. To me it seems disrespectful to approve the Regulation of the Chamber of Deputies, be a deputy and break your own decisions. It would have been normal for him to announce such a sensitive debate in advance so that you could attend’, said the Social-democrat Valeriu Zgonea, answering question on the fact that the Statute Committee had changed the report on the law on the MPs’ pensions on Tuesday during a meeting that had not been announced.
The Chamber speaker said that, personally, he could enforce no sanctions.
‘There is nothing I can do. There is no sanction. You will need to become even more vehement and we will also address this situation on the joint bureaus. It doesn’t seem fair to me’, added Zgonea.
He said he would discuss the attitude, which, o him, seemed not serious, on the standing bureaus.
‘We will discuss on the joint standing bureaus this attitude which to me seems not serious. We are being accused on lack of transparency. We operated some changes to the Chamber Regulation generated exactly by this dissatisfaction, not only yours (the journalists’ – editor’s note), but also of the NGOs, relevant associations, that we are debating on laws on certain committees at 7 – 8 pm in the evening without the agenda being made public in advance. To me, what Mr. Duvaz, a person with a lot of experience, 25 years of parliamentarianism, seems like a big mistake. He shouldn’t have made this mistake. I will talk to him… but, I am not sure if it will make any difference if I talk to Mr. Duvaz, he agrees with me and does what he wants, Valeriu Zgonea added.
Asked when the joint plenary session to adopt the report on the MPs’ pension law would be, Zgonea suggested the report might not be put on the agenda too soon: ‘Theoretically, yes, practically there may not be. There are so many reports waiting to be addressed for two-three years’.
‘There are many colleagues who have not understood that things have changed in the Chamber of Deputies. I am sorry that they don’t understand these things and that we are putting ourselves in the situation where we obtain advantages that we do not deserve. An open and clear discussion on the topic of the MPs’s pensions could have taken place with you in the audience and with arguments from our colleagues. Things done in closed, obscure spaces no one knows about generate dissatisfaction on all parts and there will be many MPs who will vote against this draft law that, so far, has been supported by a majority’, Zgonea also said.
The Statute Committee on Tuesday changed the report on the law on the pensions of the members of Parliament and decided that those with a minim of one year served in Parliament, unlike 6 months as it initially stated, would collect special pensions and that the deputies and senators are entitled to such pensions when their term ends, if they are re-elected.
The report was adopted in unanimity by the members of the Statute Committee and will be voted on in plenary session by the joint Chambers. The meeting of the committee was not public. The final report on the draft law was posted directly to the website of the Chamber of Deputies.

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