Record fines issued by Romanian authorities during COVID-19 state of emergency are unconstitutional
Romania's Constitutional Court on Wednesday, May 6, admitted a complaint of the Ombudsman and ruled that the Government's emergency ordinance that increased fines the state of emergency was unconstitutional, G4Media.ro reported.
Most of the fines issued during the state of emergency (some EUR 120 million until now) were based on this ordinance and could thus be challenged in court and canceled.
Prime minister Ludovic Orban said he was shocked by the Constitutional Court's decision, according to G4Media.ro. He added that this decision incited to anarchy and breaking the law and state of emergency restrictions.
Under the emergency ordinance ruled unconstitutional, the Government hiked the value of the fines for non-compliance with the military orders issued during the state of emergency from RON 100-5,000 (EUR 20-1,030) to RON 2,000-20,000 (EUR 412-4,120) as of April 3.
Most of the sanctions targeted people who didn't comply with the movement restrictions imposed to limit the spreading of COVID-19.
The minister of internal affairs, Marcel Vela, admitted on Monday, May 4, that there had been abuses in imposing these sanctions. He advised those who felt mistreated to challenge the fines in court.
Prosecutor general Gabriela Scutea said that the judiciary would most likely face a "huge wave of complaints," after the state of emergency ends, according to G4Media.ro.
The Romanian Police has issued over 300,000 fines totaling over RON 600 mln (EUR 120 mln) for non-compliance with the restrictions established by military ordinances, during the state of emergency. The authorities haven't mentioned how many of these fines were also paid.
The high level of sanctions imposed by the Romanian authorities during the state of emergency has also made the headlines in the international media in recent weeks.
(Photo source: Inquam Photos / Bogdan-Ioan Buda)