Romania may toughen laws on witches
Published 08/02/2011 | 11:17
Romania's government is considering a new law that will impose fines on witches or even jail them for predictions that do not come true.
The news comes only a month after witches became liable for tax for the first time in their hundreds of years of existence.
Officials in Romania have previously turned to witches to help the recession-hit country collect more money and crack down on tax evasion.
Witches argue they should not be blamed for the failure of their tools.
"They can't condemn witches, they should condemn the cards," Queen Witch Bratara Buzea said.
In January, the government changed labour laws to officially recognise witchcraft as a taxable profession, prompting angry witches to dump poisonous mandrake into the Danube in an attempt to put a spell on them.
The latest bill was passed in the Romanian senate last week, but must still be approved by a financial and labour committee and by the chamber of deputies, the other house of Romania's parliament.
Mrs Bratara called the proposed bill overblown. "I will fight until my last breath for this not to be passed," she said.
Sometimes, she argued, people don't provide their real identities, dates of birth or other personal details, which could skew a seer's predictions. "What about when the client gives false details about themselves? We can't be blamed for that."
The new bill would also require witches to have a permit, to provide their customers with receipts and bar them from practising near schools and churches.