BUCHAREST (dpa-AFX) – Romania’s parliamentarians have abolished their privilege to receive special pensions for members of parliament and senators. These earnings after membership in parliament was paid out of the state treasury and not on the basis of contributions to the pension fund. These pensions amounted to between 2000 and 12,000 lei (2500 euros), which is a multiple of the Romanian average pension. Most recently, this cost the state 33.2 million lei (6.9 million euros) a year.
The decision at a joint plenary session of the Senate and the House of Representatives was unanimous. The bourgeois government parties under the leadership of Prime Minister Florin Citu and the left opposition had agreed on this. However, the faction of the Hungarian UDMR party stayed away from the vote in protest. She criticized the fact that the special pensions for other beneficiaries – including military, secret service employees, prison directors, judges and prosecutors – were not also abolished.
In view of the need to save money due to the tight budget situation, there is currently lively debate in Romania about the financial privileges enjoyed by civil servants. The focus of the criticism is also very high allowances on basic salaries, which are justified with supposedly extraordinary burdens. Constitutional judges get high surcharges for “neuropsychic stress”. For everyone who works with a computer, there are surcharges due to “radiation exposure”. The last regulation dates from the 1990s, when the computer was not yet a self-evident work device./kl/DP/fba