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A new forestry code

The Chamber of Deputies on Wednesday passed the new Forestry Code.

A new forestry code
"It took me 100 years to grow / It took them 10 minutes to cut me down" stands written on the banner. Photo: rri.ro.

Articol de Radio România Internaţional, 21 Mai 2015, 14:12

The request of the Romanian President Klaus Iohannis regarding the reexamination of the Forestry Code was rejected by the Chamber of Deputies, the MPs passing the law in its initial version.

Two months ago, the president said in his request for reexamination that the provisions of this law would arbitrarily limit the activity of companies, which would create advantages for some and disadvantages others, have a negative impact on competition and give rise to situations when the Romanian state, as a EU member, could be accused of violating its own commitments.

According to president Iohannis, the introduction of the maximum threshold of 30% upon the purchase or processing of wood from Romania's forests and the pre-emption right for furniture producers when buying wood will violate the principles of economic and contractual freedom underlying the market economy.

Saying they were not allowed to propose any amendments to the bill, the Liberals, in opposition, suggested that the Forestry Code be sent back to the expert committee.

However, their suggestion met with opposition from the ruling Social Democrats and the Democratic Union of Ethnic Hungarians in Romania who supported the initial version of the bill.

The leader of the Liberal group in Parliament Ludovic Orban warned that the provisions of the Code's Article no. 20 may pose a threat to citizens' safety:

"We want the reexamination of article 20 of the Code, which in effect allows the destruction of Romania's forests. It allows anyone who owns a forest land to cut as many trees they want, with no commitments or obligations whatsoever."

The former minister of waters and forests, the Social Democrat MP Doina Pana says the new Forestry Code provides a correct legislative framework that observes the European regulations in the field and that is also in line with Romania's Constitution:

"This is nothing but a desperate attempt to prevent this Forestry Code from being enforced. Those who are opposed to the new Code actually want to perpetuate deforestations, they do not want to promote the national interest but their own party and financial interests!"

The Romanian President cannot send the law back to Parliament but he can challenge it at the Constitutional Court, something he says he does not plan to do.

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