Green pass talks blocked

Both Health Minister Alexandru Rafila and Prime Minister Nicolae Ciuca have advocated for the necessity to introduce a green pass for workers in Romania. [Shutterstock/MikeDotta]

The Romanian coalition could not agree on mandatory COVID passes for workers, but talks could restart next week.

Both Health Minister Alexandru Rafila and Prime Minister Nicolae Ciuca have advocated for the necessity to introduce a green pass for workers in Romania, but they want it adopted by parliament.

Political leaders wanted the government to take responsibility for a normative act in this regard, as the quickest and the least taxing option for parliamentary parties in terms of electoral cost.

But the views of the two main parties in the coalition are still different on the matter, writes EURACTIV’s media partner, HotNews. PSD, the socialist party that recently joined the governing coalition, may consider the subject closed. A parliamentary debate will only lead to scandals, as many MPs will avoid voting for such a sensitive topic.

PNL, the centre-right party of Prime Minister Ciuca and President Klaus Iohannis, still wants the green pass to be introduced, but only following a parliament decision.

Meanwhile, Romania has one of the lowest vaccination rates in Europe, and the number of COVID-19 infections is rising in the wake of the Omicron variant.

”During the fourth wave, we had around 400,000 confirmed cases. We will see how many there will be in the fifth wave, but we estimate double that number,” Health Minister Rafila said Tuesday. The minister previously said a rapid increase in the number of cases – the start of the fifth pandemic wave – would be seen by mid-January.

But he warned that a late adoption of the mandatory pass would prove problematic. Therefore, the coalition analyses the possibility of calling a special parliamentary session to adopt the pass, but a decision in this respect could come just after a coalition meeting on 10 January.

(Bogdan Neagu | EURACTIV.ro)

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