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February 25, 2021

Liberals attacked for nominating Munteanu for Bucharest City Hall

Tariceanu: PNL can’t find anything better than a neo-fascist * Literary critic Nicolae Manolescu: Munteanu made downright pro-fascist statements * Quintus: Any false and offensive statement about Duca affects the party * Petre Roman: Munteanu’s statements about the Iron Guard movement are very telling


In an open letter, Senate Speaker and ALDE Co-President Calin Popescu Tariceanu has asked Liberals to reflect on the decision of the PNL leadership, “which now finds nothing better than a neo-fascist for the Bucharest City Hall,” pointing out that it is obvious that PNL can no longer represent Liberalism.

In the open letter addressed to Liberals on Sunday, ALDE Co-President Calin Popescu Tariceanu accuses the party leadership’s of lack of ideas and vision, but also accuses PNL of backsliding toward the far right, also mentioning the appointment of Oana Stanciulescu as PNL’s representative within the public television company’s board, pointing out that she “stood out through a systematic effort to transform some members of the Iron Guard into national role models.” “Although it generated widespread public concern, the PNL leadership’s inclination toward neo-fascism seemed occasional. It became representative with the nomination, on April 12, of Mr. Marian Munteanu (photo) as the party’s candidate for the Bucharest City Hall,” the former PNL President added.

The former PNL leader once again accused PNL Honorary President Mircea Ionescu Quintus of not distancing himself from the party leadership’s position and of the fact that he only chose to abstain from voting on Marian Munteanu’s nomination.

Tariceanu called on the Liberals to think about and to take into account leaving the party in order to join ALDE.

The nomination of Marian Munteanu, former leader of University Square protests in 1990, as PNL’s candidate for the Bucharest City Hall has brought a lot of criticism from civil society, but also from some Liberals. Several NGOs, including the Institute for Public Policies (IPP), the Romanian Academic Society (SAR), Romani Criss and ACCEPT, have asked PNL to rescind Marian Munteanu’s nomination, pointing out that he “had and has sympathies for fascist currents” and “promotes a discourse based on orthodox-fundamentalist elements incompatible with democratic and even constitutional values.” The representatives of the ‘Elie Wiesel’ Institute claimed that Marian Munteanu represents “a reason of concern,” after he stated: “There isn’t much anti-Semitism, there is rather xenophobia. We are all philo-Semites because we are Christians.”


Quintus: I will state my opinion at the Standing Bureau, in Munteanu’s presence


PNL Honorary President Mircea Ionescu Quintus stated on Sunday that at the party’s next Standing Bureau meeting he will state his opinion, in the presence of Marian Munteanu, about the accusation Marian Munteanu brought against I.G. Duca, whom he called an “assassin.”

“I will express my opinion [about Marian Munteanu’s accusations] at the National Standing Bureau, in the presence of Marian Munteanu. Any false and offensive statement about Duca affects the party, and affects me in particular because I knew him and I talked about him at the unveiling of his statue 70 years ago. I will make my observations within the National Standing Bureau,” PNL Honorary President Mircea Ionescu Quintus stated for Mediafax.


Petre Roman and Munteanu exchange broadsides


Ex-premier Petre Roman stated on Sunday that Marian Munteanu’s statements show his “very strong sympathy” for the Iron Guard movement, pointing out that in an article dating from 1994 Munteanu called I.G. Duca, PNL’s emblematic figure, an “assassin.”

“As a result of the fact that PNL has said that the accusations brought against Marian Munteanu have to be proven, I simply turned to press documents, available at anyone’s disposal, to Marian Munteanu’s statements about the Iron Guard movement. They are very telling in what concerns the very strong sympathy that Mr. Munteanu has showed ever since 1992,” ex-premier Petre Roman, PNL member, stated for Mediafax.

Marian Munteanu replied on Sunday that the accusations Petre Roman brought against him are taken out of context, claiming that his statements were a historical plea concerning some political prisoners and that he would like for Petre Roman to first talk with him.

Asked whether he had confusions about I.G.Duca’s past, Marian Munteanu denied, pointing out that I.G. Duca is a historical personality and this concerned a strictly historical issue, not political messages.


Nicolae Manolescu: I find it odd to continue stating that he is a sweet innocent child


Literary critic Nicolae Manolescu stated that he finds it “odd to state that Marian Munteanu is a sweet innocent child” and claims that the former leader of students, who “made downright pro-fascist statements,” would probably be “a catastrophe” as a mayor.

“I find this candidacy nomination to be at least uninspired. I have known Marian Munteanu for a long time, he was my student, he held an exam with me in the year of the Revolution, when he wasn’t really attending the classes, it was an euphoric period. Afterward, he was the head of the Students’ League and they had some minor and contradictory demands, for example for 30 percent of the members of the Senate to be students.”

The literary critic claims that there are “countless” pieces of evidence that prove that Marian Munteanu made pro-fascist statements: “Marian Munteanu made some downright pro-fascist statements. They were reprinted by the press recently, I remember them very well. What amazes me is that PNL leaders continue to say that there is no evidence against Marian Munteanu and that this is just a press rumour. How could there be no evidence? There are countless pieces of evidence. (…) I find it odd to continue saying that Marian Munteanu is a sweet innocent child.”


Adriana Saftoiu: “I have nothing to do with this nomination”


PNL First Vice President Adriana Saftoiu wrote on Facebook about Marian Munteanu’s candidacy, pointing out that members of the party leadership want the accusations brought against him proven, that his writings are not sufficient and added that “fortunately, Munteanu’s “writings” haven’t materialized so far.”

Adriana Saftoiu addressed in her posting the suspicion that she had something to do with the fact that Marian Munteanu was nominated as PNL candidate.

“No, I have nothing to do with this nomination. The person that brought him to PNL has already taken credit for it,” Saftoiu said.


Marine Le Pen agrees with Munteanu’s nationalism


When asked for her opinion about the fact that a candidate criticised for his nationalism has entered the race for the Bucharest City Hall, National Front President Marine Le Pen, present in Romania during the weekend in order to attend the “Our Europe. Europe of Nations” conference, stated that it is good for people “with a nationalist and people-oriented discourse” to be present in politics.

“I believe that we are lately seeing the rise of a veritable nationalist current throughout the EU. It is good for such people, who have a nationalist and people-oriented discourse, to be in politics too. The nationalism I’m talking about can be translated as an opposition to the EU’s totalitarian backsliding. EU wants to dictate everything through the European Commission, through economic directives. Where is the states’ sovereignty?” Le Pen stated in an interview for ‘Adevarul.’

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