The Chamber of Deputies adopted in a 189-to-11 vote with 89 abstentions on Wednesday a simple motion against Agriculture Minister Achim Irimescu entitled ‘The biggest disaster in Romanian agriculture in post-December period’ [editor’s note: December 1989, end of Communist regime]. The motion was initiated by the Social Democrat Party (PSD) and the Romanian Alliance of Liberals and Democrats (ALDE) and debated by the deputies three weeks ago, with the minister attending.
According to initiators, the motion sanctions the ‘serious’ slippages in agriculture, namely the fact that direct subsidies were not paid, the access to European funds was denied, and the investments in irrigations were halted; it refers to bad management in the ministry and its subordinate units in general.
“Ever since the incumbent minister has taken office, we have heard only excuses and motivations about how it is not possible or why it is not possible to do their job. In fact, besides the hallucinating episodes of his political statements, it is obvious he knows nothing about what to do and how to do anything,” the motion reads.
The signatories of the motion insist that Irimescu must leave the office so that “he does not ruin the entire agri-food sector of Romania’s economy” and does not make Romanian citizens “Europe’s beggars.”
Chamber of Deputies passes law on marketing foodstuffs
A law on foodstuff marketing, compelling the big retailers to use short supply chains, passed on Wednesday the Chamber of Deputies, the decision-making forum in this case.
The law stipulates that “the traders – authorized legal entities – have the obligation to purchase meat, eggs, fruit, vegetables, honey, dairy products and bread in a proportion of at least 51pct of the volume of goods on the shelves from the short supply chain.” There is an exception for retailers with turnovers up to two million euros equivalent in lei. The methodology for actions concerning the short supply chain will be approved by Government Decision.
“We do not close the stores in weekends; that provision of the draft was not discussed, we have abandoned those articles. The bill provides for fines to those who do not comply with other important provisions of the law, such as the one according to which you are not allowed to write additional invoices for producers, you are not allowed to impose a minimum price on the market, as it happened before. There are fines of 100,000 to 150,000 lei, and in case of repeated violations the store will be closed down,” Committee for Agriculture Chairman Nini Sapunaru had assured in the debates within the committee.
According to the law, “the short supply chain is a chain of supply involving a limited number of business operators in cooperative and economic development activities on a local and regional level, and close relations between producers, processors and traders.” According to Sapunaru, the labels of fresh meat products must include the country of origin of the meat, and the percentage of meat content from Romania must be mentioned.