Romania has problems, big problems. Historically it’s always been that way. Invaded by every neighbouring country, Soviet occupation, the Ceausescu dictatorship, all of these things contributed to the country’s economic downturn. Though they have now entered the European Union, Romania still has a history of people doing what they can to earn a living. For women, especially Romani women, options were and still are limited. The country’s new “witch tax” threatens to take away a portion of what little income Romanian women are currently making. It’s a requirement for witches to carry a permit and provide receipts would almost certainly result in further discrimination towards the Romani (as they don’t typically have a physical address let alone identification), possible fines and/or imprisonment.
BUCHAREST, Romania (AP) — There’s more bad news in the cards for Romania’s beleaguered witches.
A month after Romanian authorities began taxing them for their trade, the country’s soothsayers and fortune tellers are cursing a new bill that threatens fines or even prison if their predictions don’t come true.
Superstition is a serious matter in the land of Dracula, and officials have turned to witches to help the recession-hit country collect more money and crack down on tax evasion.
In January, the government changed labor laws to officially recognize the centuries-old practice of witchcraft as a taxable profession, prompting angry witches to dump poisonous mandrake into the Danube in an attempt to put a hex on them.
The new bill would also require witches to have a permit, to provide their customers with receipts and bar them from practicing near schools and churches.