Deputies decide to return the Offshore Law to committees

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The Chamber of Deputies has voted in the plenary sitting on Wednesday to return the Offshore Law to the parliamentary committees, the bill setting out the criteria for the exploitation of Black Sea gas, the decision being made upon the request of UDMR leader Kelemen Hunor.

The Deputies voted 210 votes ‘for’ and one abstention, sending the Offshore Law to the committees, with a deadline of one week.

ALDE Chairman, Calin Popescu Tariceanu, said that the ALDE Deputies who are part of the Industry Committee “were surprised by a series of amendments presented to the committee in the last minute.”

“It’s a very sensitive subject. There have been amendments in the past two weeks, and it would be good for us to understand all reasoning, figures, and it might be good to postpone the vote on this draft bill for a week and to bring together all the leaders in Parliament so that we can reach a consensual decision. We are calling for the return of the draft bill to the committees for one week,” UDMR chairman, Kelemen Hunor, said on Wednesday in the Chamber of Deputies.

Kelemen’s intervention took place at the start of the debates on the Offshore Law, at the end of which the MPs should have had the final vote on the draft.

PSD Group Leader in the Chamber of Deputies, Daniel Suciu, has agreed with UDMR’s proposal. “The PSD’s interest is that the law passes in the national interest,” he said.

PSD’s Dragnea: : A majority could not be met

PSD leader, Liviu Dragnea, said on Wednesday, referring to the Offshore Law, that his party will support the amendments in the parliamentary committee.

“PSD has agreed to return the Offshore Law to the committee, as a majority could not be met in order to be voted and thus the bill would have remained in the previous form. PSD will support its position in the committee. There are calculations and analyses conducted by financial specialists. I believe discussions should be transparent and broadcast to the public so that any Romanian finds out the laws effects, positive or negative.” Liviu Dragnea said.

The PSD Chairman refused to comment on the statements made by ALDE’s Varujan Vosganian.

“I am not ALDE’s commentator. Every parliamentary group has its position on the law,” Dragnea said.

The vote on Wednesday comes after the joint committees of the Chamber of Deputies adopted on Tuesday the joint report on the Offshore Law, which sets out the gas exploitation in the Black Sea gas with new amendments.

PSD Deputies proposed and adopted a change in the way of taxing the extra income earned by investors through the Offshore Law.

During the debates on Tuesday by committees, ALDE deputies’ leader Varujan Vosganian said that party MPs will not vote the amendments because there is no point of view from the Government and no study on budget impact, after which the ALDE MPs left the sitting.

However, the joint committees of the Chamber of Deputies voted to amend Article 19 (paragraph 3) against the form adopted by the Senate, upon the proposal of the PSD Parliamentary Group.

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