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October 3, 2022

Draft law on conversion of Swiss franc loans, unconstitutional

*The constitutional challenge was filed by the Dacian Ciolos Government


Constitutional Court of Romania (CCR) President Valer Dorneanu announced on Tuesday that the law that would have allowed persons who contracted CHF-denominated laws to convert them to RON-denominated loans was declared unconstitutional because it breaks the principle of bicameralism.

The Constitutional Court of Romania (CCR) decided on Tuesday that the draft law regarding the conversion of Swiss franc loans is unconstitutional.

“The Court admitted the exception of unconstitutionality and admitted that the law is unconstitutional for at least two major reasons. The first one is the serious violation of the principle of bicameralism, in the sense that there is substantial difference between the legislative draft tabled in the Senate and the act adopted by the decision-making Chamber. The Senate adopted the law in the formula drawn up by the initiators, and the Lower Chamber changed basically almost all the legislative solutions, all the articles. Or, according to our constant practice, when (…) solutions are changed substantially, it is deemed that the principle of bicameralism is violated,” the head of the CCR, Valer Dorneanu, announced after the sitting on Tuesday.

According to him, the fact that the second Chamber was the decision-making body does not mean that it can adopt the law “only in its own way,” being also required to take into account the expression of the texts adopted in the first Chamber.

The second reason has to do with the fact that the CCR considered that the solution the Lower Chamber adopted, namely reconversion to the exchange rate registered on the date the contract was signed, is wrong and does not correspond to any European directives.

“Here, the courts will also enforce the hardship principle we developed in the rest of the decisions,” Dorneanu said.

A ruling was expected since November 2016, but was postponed by Constitutional Court judges for January 18 and then for February 7.

The challenge was filed by the Dacian Ciolos Government on October 24, after Parliament adopted the law that stipulates the conversion of CHF-denominated loans to the historical exchange rate. Dacian Ciolos, Premier at the time, pointed out that the Government filed the constitutionality challenge for clarifications, not because it opposed the law.

According to the latest National Bank of Romania data, last autumn there were approximately 40,000 CHF-denominated loans.


BNR’s Isarescu: Decision of Constitutional Court on unconstitutionality of Swiss franc loans conversion is correct


The decision of the Constitutional Court on the unconstitutionality of the draft law regarding the conversion of Swiss franc loans is correct, said on Tuesday the Governor of the National Bank of Romania (BNR) Mugur Isarescu, in a press conference.

“It is a correct decision. It should be put into practice and I think that concerning those who have Swiss franc loans the solution is provided in the Civil Code, in the chapter of unpredictability. There can be found solutions through bilateral negotiations, same as, in the last years the BNR also suggested as being the feasible way for reaching a solution of sharing the burden,” Isarescu said.


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