The law on the public pension system, re-examined after the Constitutional Court ruled it is unconstitutional, has been rejected by the Senate on Wednesday, after failing to get the needed votes.
67 senators voted in favour and 22 abstained from voting, while the necessary votes should have mounted to 68.
The chairman of the Senate session explained that the quorum had not been met this time due to a missing senator following former president Traian Basescu’s resignation. He has won a MEP seat in Brussels.
PM Viorica Dancila has blamed the Opposition for the pension law failure, yet ruling Social Democrat senators have missed the session in huge numbers.
“This shows the way the Opposition is approaching the pension law. They say one thing, accusing the government of certain things, claiming they care about pensioners and today they voted against the law. I don’t think pensioners will accept this double standard anymore,” the prime minister said.
When told that PSD senators have massively skipped the voted, Dancila replied that they “might be absent justified or unjustified, but we first have to see those who voted against pension law“.
She pledged the bill will pass in the Chamber of Deputies. “We have always kept out promises to pensioners, if we could not pass by law we did it by emergency ordinance. Pensioners will have the pension point increased as of September 1 and we’ll pass the law in the Chamber of Deputies”.
In his turn, Labour minister Marius Budăi, has assured that the draft bill will be debated and adopted in the Chamber of Deputies ( Romanian Parliament’s lower chamber). The minister underlined that the law is a good one for the Romanian pensioners.
He slammed the opposition parties, accusing them of preventing the ruling coalition from increasing pensions and incomes. “The alliance of austerity is fully deserving its name. I assure Romanians and pensioners that we’ll definitely approve this law in the Chamber of Deputies (…) It is a good law for the pensioners of this country,” the Labour minister argued.
Last Friday, European Commission itself said that pension increases “have generated deviations and have increased public debt.”