The Internal Affairs Minister told prefects and law enforcement representativesthat such protests must be monitored. The Gendarmerie is thinking to tighten the discipline measures during spontaneous meetings.
Radu Stroe, Internal Affairs Minister and PNL member, stated at a videoconference with prefects that authorized protests and their corresponding routes need to be monitored to “diminish the rightful negative impression that the law is not being fully applied.” The minister reiterated that authorities are seeking to prevent conflicts between citizens and state institution representatives and warned protest organizers that “it has been a while, nonetheless” and “they must understand they need to obey the law, willingly and forcibly, if necessary.”
According to the minister, the topic was to be discussed in a debriefing meeting of the Ministry of Internal Affairs. “A debriefing meeting on this topic will take place today (e.n. yesterday) at MAI level, but I only wanted to inform prefects, county police chiefs and law enforcement inspectorate chiefs,” Stroe said at the videoconference with prefects organized at Ministry headquarters to discuss winter preparations, as cited by Mediafax.
We remind our readers that PM Victor Ponta made a statement Saturday, saying that he was not against protests as long as they are peaceful, but he emphasized he will not stand still “if the disputes turn violent.”
Chief of the Romanian Police, Petre Toba also took a stand yesterday on the protests’ topic, saying that Bucharest protests have been peaceful so far, but in case they degenerate, the Police will solve eventual criminal files with expedience. He said however the protests are in the Romanian Gendarmerie’s line. On the other hand, sources from the Interior Ministry said for Mediafax that the Gendarmerie will tighten discipline measures at the spontaneous street protests, so that the main boulevards couldn’t be blocked.
The quoted sources said the decision was taken during the meeting that Interior Minister Radu Stroe had yesterday with Gendarmerie’s chiefs in order to set a measure plan regarding the protests organized in the last weeks.
Protests continue in Bucharest and Cluj
Approximately 3,000 persons protested Sunday against the mining project at Rosia Montana and shale gas exploitation in a march spreading across Piata Universitatii,Piata Unirii, Piata Constitutiei, Calea 13 Septembrie, and Izvor, which then returned to Universitate.
One-way traffic on Calea Septembrie next to the Senate was blocked by demonstrators who, with their backs at the building, started applauding the Romanian Academy headquarters located across the street for its position on the Rosia Montana project. Sunday evening’s protest before the Parliament lasted almost two hours. People brought with them the usual plastic bottles filled with pebbles and banners displaying messages against the mining and shale gas exploitation projects. Protesters chanted “Legislation is not made by the corporation”, “United, we will save all of Romania”.
A similar protest, yet on a smaller scale, took place late Sunday in Cluj. Several hundred protesters against the Rosia Montana project blocked the traffic in front of Cluj Prefect’s Office, and they were joined by a group of instrumentalists from the Transilvania Philharmonic, the Romanian Opera and the Hungarian Opera. They sang the national anthem, as well as folk and international songs.
The protesters marched until they reached the Cluj Prefect’s Office, moving toward the train station and Piata Mihai Viteazu, continuously chanting “Take down the government”, “Join us”, “The streets are ours, the cyanide is yours”, “We won’t give up or surrender”. Law enforcement officers urged the protesters blocking traffic before the Prefect’s Office to step away from the road and warned they would use force, if necessary, since the demonstration was illegal. Road traffic was resumed approximately one hour and a half later.
Around 1,000 protesters then gathered in Piata Unirii with banners bearing messages such as “Now or never, Romanians, let’s change our fate” or “Barbu, the Golden’s mercenary against national treasure”. During the protest, one of the participants read aloud Saturday’s “proclamation” from Campeni and criticized PM Victor Ponta’s statements about the “red line” that was supposedly crossed at certain protests. Law enforcement officers monitored the demonstrators as they marched in Piata Unirii. They said they were given orders not to follow protesters at the march across town.
Antonescu wants new special parliamentary committee
PNL chairman Crin Antonescu said yesterday that Liberals’ wants dissolution of Rosia Montana Committee, explaining his political group would like for the current special committee on Rosia Montana to give a rejection report to the Government’s draft and for a new committee to be established then, for the initiation of another draft law on exploiting the resources. The current Special Parliamentary Commission on the Rosia Montana bill draft was established on September 17 by plenum meeting vote and it includes PSD, PNL, PC, UDMR, PPDD and other minority party members.
Deputy Remus Cernea also announced Sunday at a press conference in Alba Iulia that signatures will be collected this week to submit a request to the Parliament to establish an investigation committee regarding possible corruption deeds in connection with the Rosia Montana mining project. According to the deputy, 50 MPs’ signatures are necessary to create this committee, and he expects the investigation committee to start work in the following parliamentary session.