Justice system strike costs billions

Publish date: 04-09-2009
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Thousands of investments, tens of thousands of commercial litigations, and billions of euro are blocked by the protests of magistrates. The first assessments of the effects generated by the crisis in the justice sector announces a harsh outcome, that threatens to deal a final blow to the 2009 financial year, already hit by recession, market crashes, and incoherent economic policies.

Officially, the pace of operations slowed in the justice sector. Practically, there is a full strike. The commercial cases, including those for insolvency, will be settled next year. For the legal system, the crisis and the budget constraints turned into a conflict between public institutions.

The High Court of Justice, Romania's supreme court of law, sued the government and won. At the High Court. The attempt to mediate the conflict at the Constitutional Court failed. With no independent mechanism to finance the High Court, there is no solution at the horizon.

Thus, some billions of euro are blocked in the economy, according to attorney Gheorghe Piperea, specializing in insolvency cases. "There are so many damages. The 40,000 insolvency files that are now open mean a €1.2 billion blockage. In commercial law suits, the amounts are three-four times higher. (...) The Trade Register is open one day per month. There are 200 applications every day," Piperea said. He added that these applications include requests for suspending micro-enterprises that should pay the lump-sum tax.


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