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Curses! Romania’s witches forced to pay income tax

Romanian witches angry about having to pay up for the first time are planning to use cat excrement and dead dogs to cast spells on the president and government.

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.

Romanian witches will head to the southern plains and the Danube River to threaten the government with spells and spirits because of the tax law, which came into effect Jan 1.

A dozen witches will hurl the poisonous mandrake plant into the Danube to put a hex on government officials “so evil will befall them,” said a witch named Alisia. She identified herself with one name — customary among Romania’s witches.

“What is there to tax, when we hardly earn anything?” she said. “The lawmakers don’t look at themselves, at how much they make, their tricks; they steal and they come to us asking us to put spells on their enemies.”

In the past, the professions of witch, astrologer, and fortuneteller were not listed in the Romanian labor code. Under the new law, like any self-employed person, they will pay 16% income tax and make contributions to health and pension programs.

Some say the law will be hard to enforce, as the payments to witches and astrologers usually are made in cash and relatively small at 20 to 30 lei ($7-$10) per consultation.