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Romanian Legal Experts Union sends letter to IMF chief

Chairman of the Romanian Legal Experts Union Gavril Iosif Chiuzbaian sent a letter to the International Monetary Fund Managing Director Dominique Strauss-Kahn on Monday by which he seeks to draw attention to the lack of constitutionality of the Romanian Government's forthcoming moves of cutting wages and pensions.

'The Romanian authorities, aware that their so-called ‘anti-downturn' moves (genuine lethal experiments in fact) are blatantly unconstitutional, attempt the diversion of placing them under the shield of the Constitution's Article no. 53 that speaks of the possibility of limiting the exercising of certain rights in order to ‘defend national security, public order, health or moral order', given that the very planned measures seriously endanger all these values', the letter says.

Chiuzbaian says the Constitutional Court judges, by their recent ruling, had preferred to seem 'unprofessional and show unacceptable obedience to the political factor' in order to preserve their privilege of 'adding their pensions to their wages, in a discriminatory manner towards the other social brackets'. 'Any recalculation of legally given pensions would amount to the state's breaking its own legislation, with repercussions on the judicial stability, on the character of the state of law', he stresses.

The Union chairman further insists that the draft law on the unified public pensions and the so-called ‘anti-downturn' measures 'also violate a range of European directives applicable to the judiciary'.The pensions related to one's specific profession are not a privilege or governmental handout, but a right, a partial compensation of the inconvenience resulting from the harsh special statutes which such professions should obey, he says.

'The new law cannot have any effect on the previous decisions of giving the pensions, that cannot be recalculated for a lower value, thus affecting a right that was won, except for the case when such a right were obtained by fraudulently applying the law. Therefore the pension given under the old law cannot be recalculated by any new law. The only acceptable measures - also resorted to in other European countries - could be to freeze the pensions for a definite time', Chiuzbaian underscored.

He hopes both the Constitutional Court and the courts that were notified of this issue would take into account all the invoked legal arguments. 'Any way, we ultimately have firm confidence in the Strasbourg Court', the chairman of the Romanian Legal Experts Union says.

According to Agerpres, Chiuzbaian is also the vice president of the International Democratic Legal Experts Association and president of the International Centre for the Protection of the Legal Professions.



Tuesday, June 1, 2010