Romanian majority lawmakers draft law to cancel COVID-19 fines
The Alliance of Liberal Democrats (ALDE), the Social Democratic Party (PSD), and Pro Romania have inked a draft law that will automatically cancel the fines issued during the state of emergency, News.ro reported.
Their initiative comes after the Constitutional Court ruled on May 6 that the emergency ordinance that increased the penalties applied under the state of emergency was unconstitutional.
The interpretation of the Court's decision is still subject to debates - in the sense whether it regards only the size of the fines or the validity of the penalties themselves. The initial understanding was that the Court's decision only invalidated the increase in the size of the fines. Still, under a more detailed interpretation, the penalties were void because the regulations setting them offered no guidance on how to decide the size of the fine depending on the specific misdemeanors.
Romania's law enforcement bodies issued some 300,000 fines totaling EUR 120-130 million during the state of emergency. Many have complained that the penalties have been abusive.
Prime minister Ludovic Orban said on Wednesday that the Constitutional Court's decision shocked him, as it favored a small minority that did not respect the law.
"We will look for a legal way to allow the authorities to fight against those who do not respect the rules and endanger other citizens," the prime minister said.
(Photo source: Inquam Photos/Virgil Simonescu)