Romanian President Traian Basescu said in a press statement on Thursday that he decided to send a Pensions law back to Parliament urging it to re-examining an article setting the pension age of both men and women at 65. He proposes the pension age for women be lowered to 63 from 65 as mentioned in the law passed by Parliament and declared Constitutional by the Constitutional Court.

  • Background: The law on pensions is one of the major objectives assumed by the Boc government in the IMF agreement. The Constitutional Court has rejected with a majority of votes two unconstitutional complaints against the law on pensions. The two addresses were submitted by the opposition parties, the Social Democrats and Liberals. To be adopted, the law needs to be approved by President Traian Basescu. The opposition parties threaten to suspend the President if he promotes the law as passed by the Parliament. The Social Democratic leader Victor Ponta declared that his party would call for the suspension of the president if the latter promulgates the law on pensions. The Social Democratic leader later urged the President not to promulgate the law.

He said that from the point of view of legality he had nothing to argue about the pensions law, as it received green light from the Constitutional Court and was signed by the speakers of the two chambers of Parliament.

But he said he, while a firm supporter of gender equality, could not ignore that women in Romania have "a job in the state or private sector and another at home", considering the social reality in Romania. That is why he decided to send the law back to parliament to review an article in this regard.

He said opposition leaders Victor Ponta (Social Democratic Party) and Crin Antonescu (National Liberal Party) "don't understand what it would mean I mediating the internal problems of the Parliament. It would mean dictatorship, which Constitution forbids".

He said the two leaders have yelled on TV stations that the president was interfering with the parliamentary issues and now they called on him to mediate MPs.

The legislation will first be discussed again in the commissions of the two chambers of Romania's Parliament.