The art of getting an ID

Tens of thousands of Romanians do not have an id. And this in spite of the fact that it is illegal in Romania to be without an ID – or BULETIN – as the name is in Romanian.

And we are not talking only about the roma people who often do not register their kids more or less by habit, but also ordinary Romanians, often young people who at early age were abandoned by their parents or more or less forced to flee their homes because of the poor conditions surrounding them.

Basically you cannot do anything without a buletin. You are not employed legally, you can’t rent a flat, you can’t attend a high school, you cannot get a passport, a bank account or a driving licence, you can be refused medical treatment if it extends more than three days and you may be fined if you can’t flash your buletin in the street if the police asks you to present your identity.

Just to mention a few points. Leaving the country to find a job is of course absolutely impossible. You are basically non – existing.

To get a buletin you must have a residence, a permanent address. Not only so, but you must own the place or have someone to garantee the “spatio “ for you. The result is that it is amost impossible to get a buletin for people who rent short term or move around without having enough income to rent a flat on their own. And those Romanians are plenty.

So what do people do? Some manage to get a temporary buletin for one year just by showing their birth cerificate. But for this they also have to pay, both to get a copy of the birth certificate and the preliminary id. One should think that the state needs all the population to be registered and to charge people to do this is a contradiction and in a country like Romania an obstacle.

In addition the state has introduced the rule that once you have a temporary buletin you cannot have a new real one until one year. Even if you manage to get a “ spatio “ during that year.

However, you guessed it right? There is always a way in Romania. Selling fake “spatios” or garantees for you having a fictive home address are booming. These persons charge 500 ron – 700 ron for a spatio so the homeless person can get the mandatory buletin to move on in life.

This is basically a month’s salary in Romania.Can you imagine spending your monthly salary on just having a basic id? It is due time that the EU look into this Romanian and rigid and hopeless way of identifying a population.


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