Just yesterday I wrote about fortune-tellers under pressure in Malawi. Today it’s Romania that’s back in the news . . .
On January 1st the Romanian Parliament declared fortune-telling a legal profession.
It seemed like good news at the time. At least for those witches who didn’t mind paying taxes.
A few people though, didn’t like the new proposal. In fact, they threatened to curse the legislators who were going to pass it.
The law went through anyway. In retaliation, some witches dumped poison mandrake into the Danube in an attempt to hex the government.
But magic can be a tricky business. It can come back at you if you’re not careful. Maybe that’s what’s happening in this case.
Not only are Romanian witches now expected to be licensed and pay taxes, but politicians are debating a draft bill which would also require them to be judged on their predictive accuracy.
What’s more, they might be fined or even jailed if their readings are wrong.
The new bill would also require receipts to be provided to all customers, and fortune-telling would not be permitted near churches or schools.
Opponents of the proposal say it’s a ruse to deflect public attention from Romania’s many problems.
“The government doesn’t have real solutions, so it invents problems,” political commentator, Stelian Tanase told the AP.
The bill passed in the Senate last week, but still has to be approved by a financial and labor committee, as well as by the Chamber of Deputies.