Romania: Iohannis condemns violent incidents in anti-blockade protests

In a message Tuesday, Romanian President Klaus Iohannis condemned the extremist and xenophobic violence and demonstrations that took place during Monday’s protests. The president also condemned the “attempt to politically exploit the protests” to turn them into “propagandists of hatred, xenophobia and anti-Semitism”. He said he understood Romanians who were unhappy after a year of restrictions, however “these measures are the only thing that can help us reduce the spread of the coronavirus”.

House Speaker Ludovic Orban said on Tuesday that he did not understand the demands of those who took to the streets in protest of the restrictions. The PNL leader claims the restrictions are necessary and have not been taken “for the sake of measures”.

Clashes erupted during protests in Bucharest on Monday against government restrictive measures to tackle the third wave of the pandemic. “The end of the pandemic!” – Protesters shouted on the second day of protests against the new restrictions imposed during the pandemic.

Security forces fired tear gas at the protesters, who attacked them with stones and other items, injuring several police officers. About 100 protesters were arrested.

Similar rallies took place in cities across Romania where the night ban from 22:00 to 05:00 applies. The government imposed tougher restrictions late last week. Most of the protesters, without keeping physical distance or wearing masks, accuse the government that the adopted measures have already affected the economy, but also social life.

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