Protests were again held in Romania against the measures taken by the authorities in the context of the pandemic.
Fresh protests were held in the capital Bucharest and several other Romanian cities on Monday evening and during the night, against the new restrictions imposed by the Government in the context of the pandemic. Participants chanted anti-government slogans, set protection masks on fire and denounced what they call ‘sanitary dictatorship‘. People asked for the resignation of the prime minister and of other people in charge with the management of the crisis triggered by the pandemic. Protesters asked for the opening of schools, concert halls and sports centers and for the opening of the hospitality sector, the most affected by these restrictions.
One of the protesters in Constanta, in south eastern Romania, where around one thousand people took to the streets, said: "The hospitality sector is closed. Schools open and close and students no longer learn anything. We want Arafat and Cîțu to resign, we want public explanations for all measures in place, we want to no longer have to wear face masks outside."
In Constanta, gendarmes were dispatched in the streets and no incidents were signaled. In Bucharest, on the other hand, protests, most of them peaceful, ended in violence. A number of participants were detained for throwing stones and bottles at the gendarmes. Several shop windows were broken and road traffic in the capital city was disrupted several times. Almost 200 people were taken to police stations for identification and most of them were fined. Authorities said 12 security forces suffered minor injuries. Bucharest‘s Prefect, Alin Stoica, said those who incited violence must pay and congratulated the gendarmes for their calm attitude.
Stoica thanked all those who respect the measures taken by the authorities and who understand that the discomfort created by it is a small price to be paid for the health and life of the loved ones.
Attending protests in Bucharest were also representatives of the Alliance for the Union of Romanians (AUR) who had previously announced they would participate in protests across the country. Violent protests also took place in Galati, eastern Romania, where firecrackers and stones were thrown at the security forces. In the western city of Timisoara, some 300 people, most of whom were not wearing protection masks, protested peacefully in the city centre, just like in Cluj, in the north west and in Brasov, in the centre.
Talking about the protests, PM Florin Cîțu said: "You know very well that in Europe similar measures are taken in a unitary manner, for the whole country. In Romania these measures are taken depending on the infection rate, precisely because we know there is tiredness in society, after a year of fighting this pandemic. We are not past it yet, we must make one more effort, together, to overcome it. "
Protests are held against the background of a surge in the number of Covid-infections, with a medical system under huge pressure, the intensive care units in particular. (EE)