Emilia Olescu (translated by Cosmin Ghidoveanu)
Ziarul BURSA #English Section / 15 decembrie 2015

Zamfir: "The PNL group has approved the hearing of the heads of the NBR"

The tentacles of the scandal concerning the Law of giving in payment keep stretching farther, and over the last few days, the clash has revolved around the issue of the National Anti-corruption department.

After the representatives of the National Bank of Romania (NBR) have said on multiple occasions that the manner in which this law has been drawn up and realized should be investigated by the DNA, on Friday, Bogdan Olteanu, the deputy governor of the NBR, said that the Central Bank should not have commented on that matter, because, according to the Criminal Code, the NBR only has the obligation to report a fact to the DNA, but not to comment on it as well.

In this context, liberal deputy Daniel Cătălin Zamfir, one of the initiators of the Law of giving in payment, told us that the liberals have decided to call in the NBR officials for hearings: "In the PNL group we have just voted in favor of asking the permanent offices of the Chamber of Deputies to get together the joint commissions and to hear the heads of the NBR on the threats of making a complaint with the DNA about the law of giving in payment.

Is a member of the Parliament not allowed to create a new law because their brother has an ongoing loan? (ed. note: last Thursday, the press wrote that the brother of Mr. Zamfir has a loan of 720,000 Euros, of which the MP says is far smaller than the value of the property used as collateral, which means it is not concerned by the law). I voted in favor of doubling the state's allowance for children and I have three children. Does that mean I need to be investigated by the DNA?"

The law of giving in payment is now awaiting its promulgation by President Klaus Iohannis.

Over the last two weeks, the officials of the Presidency have also met with the representatives of banks, as well as with the initiators of the law (lawyer Gheorghe Piperea and deputy Cătălin Zamfir), as well as with a few of the borrowers denominated in Swiss francs, who support the application of these regulations.

Yesterday, the press also reported, quoting sources, that Klaus Iohannis will send the law back to the Parliament, and he plans to recommend that the law cap the maximum debt ceiling at 250,000 Euros.

Lawyer Gheorghe Piperea thinks that sending the law back to the Parliament will do nothing more than postpone its promulgation by about three months.

He posts the following, on Facebook: "Aside from the fact that this kind of valoric criteria are discriminatory, as they have even been criticized by the European parliament, it needs to be understood once and for all that a debtor that has a debt of 250,000 Euros is not a rich man, but rather a man who is in debt and in chains. A debt of 250,000 Euros can be the result of an initial loan that was far smaller, because given the interest payments and the penalties, such an amount will increase arithmetically the longer the debt is unpaid.

Some Romanian debtors, in order to pay off these debts growing arithmetically, have gone into a self-exile, leaving against their will, and most of the time without their family, to work abroad.

These are the Romanians that had the faith that they've taken their country back when they voted en masse for Mr. Iohannis.

The law of giving in payment could allow them to return, to their family and friends. It could allow them to take their country back.

The refusal to promulgate the Law of giving in payment could postpone or even neutralize their intention to return to Romania, to their family and friends".

After, on Friday, 11 CHF borrowers have met with a presidential advisor on citizen issues, yesterday several debtors went to the Presidency again. This time, however, they did not talk to anybody, even though they had asked to see Mr. Cosmin Marinescu, economic advisor to the President. It seems that he told the borrowers that it is not his responsibility to see them.

"They won't grant us a hearing, they only told us to file our petitions. We will come in daily to the Presidential Administration, by December 28th, taking turns", one of the debtors present at the Presidency told us.

The law of giving in payment was approved by the members of the Parliament with one vote against it and just one abstention.