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Coronavirus: House to rubberstamp state’s restrictions decree

The House plenum on Friday is set to approve government bills that would double spot fines on violators of restrictions related to the coronavirus situation, as well as changes to the law that would allow certain convicts to serve the remainder of their prison sentence under house detention.

Starting at 5pm, the plenary session will be held behind closed and with the prescribed safety and hygiene measures.

MPs are expected to give the nod to doubling spot fines on violations of the restrictions on movement, from €150 currently to €300.

They will likewise pass a bill amending the Prisons Law allowing more categories of convicts to serve out the remainder of their sentence under house detention while wearing an ankle bracelet.

The ‘release’ applies to non-violent offenders only. The measure is aimed at decongesting the prisons and thus limiting the potential transmission of Covid-19 among inmates.

The prisons department said 114 out of 800 inmates would be let out.

Meanwhile on Friday parliament will not be putting to a vote a separate bill providing for €2bn in state-guaranteed loans to support businesses amid the crunch.

As it stands, the bill has not garnered much support in committee, with some parties pointing out that its provisions are not sufficiently airtight to ensure the cash finds its way to distressed businesses.

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