Romanian witches fight new taxes

Don’t mess with witches. They’re fighting back against new taxes in Romania:

Everyone curses the taxman, but Romanian witches, angry about having to pay up for the first time, hurled poisonous mandrake into the Danube River on Thursday to cast spells on the president and government.

In the past, the less mainstream professions of witch, astrologer and fortuneteller were not listed in the Romanian labor code, and people who worked in those jobs used their lack of registration to evade paying income tax. Under a new law, they will pay 16 percent income tax and make contributions to health and pension programs, like other self-employed people.

A witch named Alisia, who was at the protest on the Danube, called the new tax law “foolish.”

“What is there to tax, when we hardly earn anything?” she said, identifying herself with only one name as many Romanian witches do.

Superstitions are no laughing matter in Romania — the land of the medieval ruler who inspired the “Dracula” tale — and have been part of its culture for centuries. President Traian Basescu and his aides have been known to wear purple on certain days, supposedly to ward off evil. And the Communist dictator Nicolae Ceausescu and his wife, Elena, had their own personal witch.

Full story here.

Catholic Review

The Catholic Review is the official publication of the Archdiocese of Baltimore.