Opposition Senators on Wednesday managed to deal a new blow to a draft law establishing a body responsible with checking the wealth of elected officials, one day after European Commission head Jose Manuel Barroso warned Romania it must push for the law to be introduced in its initial form.

If the law is introduced in its latest form, checks into apparent irregularities in the wealth statement of an official would only be possible if that official agrees with the investigation.

The draft law establishing the National Integrity Agency-ANI has been subject of many controversies for months as Romanian MPs stripped down the bill so that ANI would have nothing to do compared to what the initial draft proposed: to have an authority that may act against politicians found to have accumulated wealth by illegal means.

Senators for the opposition Greater Romania Party and Social Democratic Party managed to defeat the representatives of the governing coalition in the Senate Judicial Commission today because a Liberal Senator missed the vote. Senator Norica Nicolai told HotNews.ro that she could not attend the vote because she had to attend a meeting of European Liberals in Brussels in the morning.

In its previous form, the bill allowed for ANI inspectors to order checks to explain the differences are found between the real and the stated wealth of elected officials in case such differences come to light.

Government approves salaries boosts for Health, Education sectors

The Romanian Government adopted an ordinance on Wednesday that boosts the salaries of employees in the education sector by 23.18% and of Health workers by 21%. Salaries will also rise by 18% for elected and named public officials.

All salaries will rise by 5% in July and 2% in April, while a third increase is expected in October.