Prime Minister Florin Citu announced on Thursday that he will discuss with the government coalition the possibility of initiating a bill to correct the law enacted in March by President Klaus Iohannis, which allows tax evaders to avoid prison if they pay damages and a series of penalties.
“It is a topic to be discussed in the coalition and I will put it on the agenda of the coalition next week,” said Prime Minister Florin Citu when asked at a press conference about the law promulgated by the president.
On March 31, President Klaus Iohannis promulgated the law initiated by PSD that allows tax evaders to escape from prison senteces if they pay the damages, despite de option to send it back to Parliament for re-discussion. Asked by the G4Media.ro reporter why he promulgated the law, although he had this option to send it back t Parliament, he erroneously claimed that the law had ended its legislative cycle. Iohannis later said that if parliament initiates an amendment to the law, he will enact it.
The law, initiated by PSD deputy Cătălin Rădulescu, nicknamed “Machine Gun”, received the final vote from the Chamber of Deputies on December 15, 2020, on the last day of the last legislature. PNL and USR deputies voted against the initiative.
The normative act stipulates that those accused of tax evasion of an amount up to 100,000 euros, a crime that is currently punishable by imprisonment, can escape only with a fine if they pay the damages in full; moreover, if they pay an additional 20% in penalties, they can avoid a prison sentence, regardless of the amount of the tax evasion.
According to the electronic registration of votes, the PSD, Pro Romania and ALDE deputies voted “for” the law, and the PNL and USR deputies voted “against” it. The UDMR deputies abstained. However, PNL deputy Viorica Cherecheș, mother of Mayor Cătălin Cherecheș from Baia Mare, voted in favor of the initiative. Viorica Cherecheș was no longer on the PNL’s list of candidates for the December 6 parliamentary elections.
The High Court of Cassation and Justice, the Romanian Government, and the Romanian Ombudsman all challenged the law in the Constitutional Court of Romania, but the court ruled that the law was constitutional.