Armed with flags depicting PMP and Romanian flags, protesters displayed banners with slogans like ‘No to the Ponta tax! Ponta’s pump burns pockets,’ ‘Victor Viorel’s tax will burn holes in your wallet,’ ‘Ponta, you should resign,’ or ‘Traian Basescu supports the People’s Movement.’
Representatives of the People’s Movement Party (PMP) organized a protest Saturday in Bucharest against introducing the additional fuel excise tax. Around 8,000 people took part in the demonstration.
Leaders of PMP and the People’s Movement Foundation, most of whom wore white shirts and jeans, went on stage in the George Enescu Square. Participants included Eugen Tomac, the party leader, Elena Udrea, former Minister of Development and Tourism, MEP Cristian Preda, Marian Preda, chairman of the People’s Movement Foundation, Daniel Funeriu, former Counselor to the President, PMP vice-chairman Teodor Baconschi, Theodor Paleologu, and Gheorghe Stefan.
In a speech drafted for this special occasion, PMP leader Eugen Tomac argued that PMP strives to carry further the political ideas of Traian Basescu, “who has led the country forward.” “Traian Basescu is the People’s Movement,” Tomac said emphatically, as cited by Mediafax. The chairman believes “PSD is the most corrupt party in Romania” and “Victor Ponta is a master in coup d’états, who now wants to master inflicting damage to people’s wallets” by raising gasoline prices. “We are here because we are against the Ponta Government and against the excise tax,” Tomac said further.
The PMP protest, characterized by slogans aimed against the chief Executive, such as ‘Ponta, let us be, your taxes are killing me,’ ‘Take down the lying government,’ and ‘Thieves and liars will put Romania six feet under,’ will include a march to Government headquarters in Piata Victoriei. The demonstration was led by Elena Udrea, Eugen Tomac, and Cristian Preda.
PMP is running a campaign entitled ‘Ponta’s pump burns pockets’ to collect signatures for a petition towards rejecting the additional fuel excise tax. The day before the protest, in one of PMP’s campaign tents in the Eroilor area, President Traian Basescu signed the petition requesting that the Government’s additional fuel excise tax be rejected. He explained that his decision was based on the promise he made to Romanian citizens, but he underlined he would not take part in the protest organized by PMP.
Basescu seen dining with members of PMP
On Saturday, a photograph of Traian Basescu, Adrian Papahagi, and Theodor Paleologu dining in a restaurant after the People’s Movement demonstration was posted by MEP Cristian Preda on Facebook, under the heading ‘Basescu and Adrian Papahagi, after People’s Movement demonstration.’ “True luxury – MEP takes up photography,” Adrian Papahagi commented shortly after the picture was posted online. “Stop speculating. We shook hands with great sympathy and warmth, as usual,” Papahagi replied to other comments on Preda’s Facebook page.
PMP Congress, postponed until after EP elections
Also on Saturday, Deputy Elena Udrea stated a decision has been made to postpone the party Congress that was to be held March 22 until after the European Parliamentary elections. “It was decided the Congress would be postponed until after the European Parliamentary elections because we have a campaign to run and we need to win the vote of Romanian citizens, not interparty battles. Secondly, we are not interested in occupying positions. Look how comfortable I feel in this party without occupying any position in particular,” Udrea said. She also noted that the list of EP candidates will be final next week, and stressed that PMP is the sole party whose members will vote for future candidates. Furthermore, Udrea pointed out that Elena Basescu, the President’s youngest daughter, has not joined PMP yet, although the party would like her to take the next step. Elena Basescu has a secure place on PMP’s list of candidates for the EP elections, if she decides to join the party. So far, Cristian Preda is the only member of PMP who is an MEP and he will be the first candidate on the party’s list for the May 25 elections.