ALEXANDRU ROMALO, 200TH ANNIVERSARY OF HIS BIRTH

Romfilatelia introduces into circulation on Tuesday, 7 May 2019, a anniversary postage stamps issue entitled Alexandru Romalo, 200th anniversary of his birth, consisting of a perforated souvenir sheet having a postage stamp with a face value of lei 28.50. The design alongside the image of the postage stamp illustrates in facsimile the front page of the “Official Gazette” (“Monitorul Oficial”), in which the law on the establishment of the Romanian Court of Accounts was published and the current logo of this institution.

The first President of the Court of Accounts mentioned by Prince Alexandru Ioan Cuza on 6/18 July 1864 was Alexandru Romalo, whose image is illustrated on the postage stamp of the perforated souvenir sheet.

Alexandru (Alecu) Romalo was born in Iasi on July 10th/22nd, 1819. His parents were seneschal Iordache Grigoriade Romalo and Maria (née Roset), the daughter of Governor Iordache Roset from Solesti. From early ages, he was noted for his passion for studying, and received, on July 3rd, 1838 the Academia Mihaileană Award – Eminence Class awarded to Romalo Alecsandru in Philosophy.

As a student during his first year of the Law course set up by Mihai Voda Sturdza, he distinguished himself by earnestness, curiosity and the talent for interpreting the laws. Thanks to this passion, on October 1840, the House of Schools (“Casa Scoalelor”) approved a scholarship for him to continue his studies in Paris at the Faculty of Law, where he obtained his Bachelor’s degree in Law, in 1843.

Following the public presentation of the bachelor’s thesis in front of the jury of the Faculty of Law in Paris on May 22nd, 1845, he became a Law graduate. The Bachelor’s degree diploma is signed by Narcisse-Achille de Salvandy, the illustrious French professor, politician and diplomat.

He married Zoe Ralet, daughter of Ion Ralet and Elizabeta Sturdza, sister of caimacam Vasile Sturdza (1810 – 1870), on February 1851. On October 30th, 1852, Grigore Alexandru Voda Ghica appoints him Spatar. On March 23rd, 1857 he became a member of the Barlad Union Committee. He signs the Desideratum of the Moldovan Unionists to the European Commission meeting in Bucharest on April 22nd, 1857.

Already experienced and appreciated, Alexandru Romalo was appointed minister secretary of state at the Department of Cults and Public Education by the Ruler Alecsandru Ioan I of the United Principalities of Moldavia and Wallachia, on October 31st, 1860.

He was actively involved in the political and social life of the Romanian Principalities. That is how he came to be part of the committee of delegates who deliberated on the draft law on the great naturalization of Dr. Carol Davila in Medicine, the founder of the National School of Medicine and Pharmacy.

By the Decree no. 757/1864, His Highness, the Ruler appointed him president of the Court of Accounts, a newly established institution, following the French model of the Cour des Comptes. From the notice issued on July 3rd, 1864, by the Ministry of Finance, it showed that the appointment of the president took into account “the presentation of the person, made by the Legislative Assembly and the recommendation of the undersigned.

By the Law on the establishment of the Court of Accounts, published in the Official Gazette (“Monitorul Oficial”), the institution consisted of: a president, eight judges, a prosecutor, a deputy prosecutor, eight articled clerks, a clerk of the court, and the staff of the Chancellery below mentioned (Article 2). Article 12 provided that: The president, the Court members and the prosecutor shall take before the Ruler, and the articled clerks, the clerk of the Court and the other officials, shall swear in front of the Court. The substitute shall take the oath before the minister of Finance.

Since the inception of the institution, ethics and fairness have been firmly established, Article 13 stipulating that: The Members of the Court of Accounts shall not be relatives or in-laws between them up to the 4th degree.  

With regards to the area of competence, Article 15 provided that: The Court is tasked with researching and deciding on the income returns subject to taxation providing revenue to the treasury, the general pay offices of the counties, the state companies and the indirect contribution administration authorities, as well as with the settlement of the expense accounts incurred by all accounting agents”.  

Appointed during the reign of Prince Alexandru Ioan Cuza, Alexandru Romalo continued to hold this position under Prince Carol I until January 1st, 1868, when he had to withdraw from public life because of health problems.

Alexandru Romalo died in July 1875, at just 56 years old. He is buried in the Bellu Cemetery in Bucharest.

Romfilatelia thanks to the Romanian Court of Accounts for the documentary support granted for the achievement of this postage stamps issue.