Romanian MPs on Wednesday voted a new pensions law which would increase pensions in a phased manner starting September this year and on through 2020-21 to 2022. The bill was supported by the governing coalition, led by Social Democrats, despite opposition criticism that there was no money to support such pension rises and that it did not comply with Constitutional Court decisions.

Camera Deputatilor Foto: Facebook

The bill passed with 197 votes in favor and 70 abstensions.

The bill is expected to have an impact on the state budget of over RON8 billion this year alone.

Opposition MPs have warned that funding to support the pension rises would not be available and that the bill had electoral purposes only, given that it would rise pensions during a long period of elections - presidential this year, local and general elections next year. It is a form for the governing Social Democrats to "squeeze votes from pensioners", as one opposition deputy put it. And one Liberal (opposition) MP said procedures to reexamine the bill did not comply with the rulings of the Constitutional Court, which had rejected a previous version of the pensions law.

[Corrected]

Detailed report in Romanian here