Romania: MPs scrap their special pensions
Romanian parliamentarians on Wednesday passed a law abolishing the privilege of special pensions for MPs and senators, which are paid out of the state treasury once their mandate ends. The cost of financing the pensions had recently reached 6.9 million euros annually. Is this a victory for justice or are the MPs buying themselves a good conscience at a bargain price?
A triumph for fairness
MP Alexandru Moraru of the liberal ruling party PNL is not sparing with self-praise in Digi24.ro:
“This is a return to normality and a triumph for justice with regard to the principles of democracy. It was time we ended the vicious circle and corrected a problem that all politicians once had a hand in creating. I think that with the abolition of special pensions, justice will be done to all those Romanians who work every day for a contributory pension. We're no different from them, in fact we are here to serve them. No one stands above the written and moral laws of our society.”
That's it then
The Democratic Alliance of Hungarians in Romania (UDMR), which is part of the governing coalition, abstained from voting on the grounds that other special pensions had not been abolished. Spotmedia.ro also hoped for more:
“In its decision on special pensions parliament has abolished the smallest problem of all, accounting to no more than around one percent. ... Things will be more difficult, however, when they tackle other pension categories. ... I doubt that [the two major parties] PNL and PSD will vote in favour of abolishing the mayors' special pensions, for instance. And nobody wants to touch the pensions for the military. And as for judges' pensions - any changes are prohibited by the constitution. ... No doubt this is why the politicians are making such a big thing out of this cutback in special pensions - because that's all we're getting.”