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The last parliamentary session of this legislature kicks off with arrears and electoral give-away drafts

The Chamber of Deputies and the Senate on Thursday start the last session of this legislature, which will be shorter though, due to the electoral campaign for the parliamentary elections. The MPs will have a busy agenda for the upcoming two months and a half. First there are some arrears such as the emergency ordinance on plagiarism and the draft law on special pensions.

Returning from a two-month summer recess, the two chambers of the Parliament will elect the new leadership, the Standing Bureaus, the vice-presidents, quaestors and secretaries. Calin Popescu Tariceanu (ALDE) is the Senate speaker, while the Chamber has Social Democrat Florin Iordache as interim speaker after the recall of Valeriu Zgonea at the end of last session.

A new parliamentary group might show up in the Chamber just several months before the legislative elections, consisting of the deputies who left the Social Democrat Party (PSD) and joined the United Romania Party (PRU) led by Bogdan Diaconu. PRU is counting off 15 MPs, 12 deputies and three senators. To set up a new parliamentary group in the Chamber minimum10 members if the same party are needed. Most of the PRU deputies were elected on PSD lists.

As far as the legislative process is concerned, some controversial drafts are high on the agenda, as well as proposal with high social impact. Among them, there are the law on The Bar, president Iohannis’ request to re-examine the emergency ordinance on plagiarism, the draft that will allow smoking in the enclosed areas, the draft that removes the head of state and the Justice minister from the nomination process of the chief prosecutors or the bill on the education pensions.

The Bar law stipulates that lawyers should be immediately informed about their clients’ wiretapping and that the documents on the relation with their clients should not be seized by prosecutors.

On the other hand, MPs also tabled some drafts that might affect the state budget despite the Gov’t warnings that the state cannot afford increasing the deficit right now.

Therefore, in the first plenary sitting the Senate is expected to decide over new draft on special pensions for the education staff, representing 80% from the average gross incomes in the last 12 months of activity before the retirement date.

The medical staff on ambulances might also benefit of special pensions, according to a draft tabled by PSD and ex-UNPR.

An independent deputy tabled a bill that stipulates that helicopter instructors, flight instructors or the staff of the Romanian Civil Aeronautics authority should also have special pensions.

In their turn, Liberals have initiated a draft law enabling local authorities to grant aid to disadvantaged families during winter time for the energy and gas bills.

As for the 2017 draft budget, the future Parliament to be elected in December will probably debate so that it could be enforced in January 2017.

About Alina Grigoras Butu