Fact Check: Romanian Authorities NOT Stealing Private Property From Farmers, Homeowners

Fact Check

  • by: Ioana Burtea
Fact Check: Romanian Authorities NOT Stealing Private Property From Farmers, Homeowners No Such Plans

Are Romanian authorities trying to steal people's private properties and make it harder for citizens to own more than two homes or agricultural land in order to sell the country's assets to multinational companies and supra-state organizations? No, that's not true: No such plan is being debated in Parliament and the right to private property is enshrined in the Constitution.

The claim appeared in a video (archived here) on TikTok by user @populismtv on February 27, 2024, under the caption (translated from Romanian to English by Lead Stories staff) "Listen, please! Hard times are coming, the more properties you have, the more they want to take them away." The speaker in the video added (as translated):

Right now, they are figuring out how to steal your properties. They want to take farmers' properties. Listen to me, those who own more than two apartments - they are planning to take them away all over Europe. Those who have expansive properties, you will be taxed at 90% on the sale of secondary properties. I can bring documents to show this is true.

This is what the post looked like on TikTok at the time of writing:

Screenshot 2024-03-06 at 16.28.46.png

(Source: TikTok screenshot taken on Wed Mar 6 14:29:53 2024 UTC)

At the time of writing, no such draft law was being debated in Parliament, and Romanian authorities have not announced their intention to enforce the claim. In addition, the person speaking in the video presents no proof of his claims. While taxes have been raised (archived here) for most sectors of the economy, there is no news of a 90 percent tax on people who own multiple homes or properties.

The right to private property in Romania is guaranteed by the Constitution (archived here), the Civil Code (archived here) and the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights (archived here). In addition, Romania has the highest rate of home ownership in the European Union, according to Eurostat (archived here).

The claim was made at a farmers' protest in Romania on February 1, 2024 (archived here), during a Realitatea Plus news station TV show called "Sovereign Romania Caravan" (archived here). The TV show sends journalists to rural areas of the country, to portray how ordinary people live. In January 2024, the show was fined for promoting the interests of the far-right AUR party and spreading misinformation (archived here). Romanian (archived here) and European farmers (archived here) have been protesting since the beginning of the year against national cuts and EU policies.

Conspiracy theories about the loss of private property have spread in Romania in the past two years, and have constantly been debunked by local fact checkers (archived here), including Lead Stories Romania.

  Ioana Burtea

Ioana Burtea has worked in journalism for 15 years. She started her career at Mediafax news agency in Bucharest and has written for DoR magazine for over seven years. Her collaborations include publications like Europe & Me, New Eastern Europe, Balkan Insight and Washington Post. Ioana published pieces on the justice system in Romania, social affairs, politics and personal essays. In 2018,  she became a fellow of the Balkan Investigative Reporting Network.  In 2021, she received the first prize in the Portrait category at the national Superscrieri journalism awards.

Read more about or contact Ioana Burtea

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