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March 29, 2023

President’s guest selection for Military Parade and Presidential Palace Reception sparks controversies

Liviu Dragnea: December 1st is not Iohannis’s day, it’s not Ciolos’s day either, it’s the celebration of national consciousness


Social Democratic Party (PSD) President Liviu Dragnea stated on Friday that December 1st is not President Klaus Iohannis’s day, and not Premier Dacian Ciolos’s day either, being the celebration of national consciousness instead, and any Romanian has the right and duty to enjoy this day. Liviu Dragnea’s reaction came after the Presidency announced that political leaders who have legal problems of a criminal nature will not be invited to attend the December 1st military parade.

“I hope that after these elections everybody – President Iohannis, all political parties, all party leaders – will understand that a permanent political war is not helping the Romanian nation. It is not helping. For example, I don’t know who advised him to make this huge mistake of banning participation to the National Day, because here, in this case, he has mixed up politics with the nation. December 1st is not Iohannis’s day, nor Ciolos’s, nor PNL’s, nor USR’s, it’s the celebration of national consciousness and everyone, every Romanian, has the right and the duty to enjoy the National Day and restrictions cannot be imposed. Whoever advised him to make this move erred,” Dragnea stated for RealitateaTV.


“He cannot ban December 1st happiness, because we are Romanians”


PSD President Liviu Dragnea also stated that as a Romanian he feels frustrated by the President’s decision, however the Head of State cannot ban happiness on December 1st, because we are Romanians.

“I feel a lot of frustration as a Romanian. It’ very difficult to explain what drives the President in taking such decisions for which he is receiving an enormous number of swear words and which generate a lot of chagrin. This is not the first time he shows he has double standards. Firstly, he is not a judge; secondly, he shows he is mixing up the nation with politics. December 1st is not his day, nor Ciolos’s day, nor PNL’s day. It’s the day of national consciousness. He cannot ban our December 1st happiness, because we are Romanians,” Liviu Dragnea stated on RomaniaTV.

“He said he wants his Government, he has his SRI [Romanian Intelligence Service], and he will have his SIE [Foreign Intelligence Service]. I’m going to state a famous phrase. ‘The state, that’s me.’ This man wants dictatorial powers,” the PSD leader pointed out.

“What I see lately shows me that this man tends to have a dictatorial attitude. I don’t know whether he has invited members of PSD, but I don’t believe anyone will attend this event,” the PSD President stated.

Liviu Dragnea claims that at this moment pressure is put on the judiciary because “prosecutors are afraid to sign certain indictments.”

“I believe President Klaus Iohannis will be held accountable first on December 11, when he will receive a slap from Romanians. Afterward, the President will pay through an ever-steeper slump in approval ratings.”

Liviu Dragnea’s statements came against the backdrop in which Presidential Spokesperson Madalina Dobrovolschi announced last Thursday that a military parade at the Arch of Triumph and a reception at the Presidential Palace will be organised on December 1st, Romania’s National Day, and that persons with legal problems have not been invited to attend the two events.

When asked by journalists about the absence of Liviu Dragnea, Victor Ponta and Calin Popescu Tariceanu from the list of guests, Dobrovolschi answered: “I’ve seen there are all kinds of public debates on this topic and I want to say from the get-go that I will not refer to certain persons, I will not name names, because this isn’t about this. It’s about some criteria that laid at the basis of drafting the list of guests, and I cannot hide from you, nor do I want to, that the criteria considered consisted, firstly, of course, of the criterion that the guest should be a state official but, likewise, that the guest should meet some integrity criteria. And here, of course, we are talking about the non-existence of some legal problems of a criminal nature. There is this criterion and we are very transparent in revealing it,” Dobrovolshi explained.

She also announced that 500 persons have been invited at the National Day reception. None of the guests will be accompanied.

Dobrovolschi pointed out that the December 1st military parade is organised against the backdrop of the centenary marking Romania’s entry in the First World War, and for this reason the parade will centre on the presentation of military equipment essential for the national defence system.


Tariceanu on President’s decision: I won’t say a thing. You realise the lese majesty I committed?


On Saturday, Alliance of Liberals and Democrats (ALDE) Co-President Calin Popescu Tariceanu refused to comment on President Klaus Iohannis’s decision not to invite at the December 1st military parade persons with legal problems of a criminal nature, stating that he has learned to steer clear of journalists’ traps.

“Don’t ask me about December 1st and Iohannis because I won’t tell you anything, word of honour. I won’t say a thing,” the ALDE Co-President stated when asked, in his capacity as Senate Speaker, to comment on President Iohannis’s decision.

Calin Popescu Tariceanu added that he has learned to steer clear of the journalists’ traps.

“I recently attended a media training course and they taught us how to react to the traps you lay out for us. Today that information is too fresh, try next week, we might forget what the trainers taught us,” he said.

On the other hand, the ALDE leader claimed he committed “lese majesty” by trying to develop dual-track education without asking Iohannis.

“Vocational education has been neglected and, at this moment, the economic sector has a clear crisis of qualified labour force, one we have to solve, and that is why we decided to implement this solution (dual-track education – editor’s note) in Romania too, and we managed to do so, despite not asking President Iohannis for permission. You realise the lese majesty we committed?” Calin Popescu Tariceanu concluded.


Firea: National Day not the right moment to group people into those with integrity and those without


Bucharest Mayor Gabriela Firea (photo) stated on Thursday that for the time being she is yet to receive an invitation to attend the Presidential Palace reception or the military parade on National Day. At the same time, she deemed that Romanians should show solidarity and should not group themselves into “good and bad,” “people with integrity and people without integrity.”

“I haven’t been invited. Probably there is still time, but, from what I understood, the invitations have already been sent to state institutions, state officials, persons whose presence was desired at the military parade at the Arch of Triumph and at the National Day reception organised at the Cotroceni Palace. (…) I’m not in such a situation (of having legal problems – editor’s note). I’m not necessarily annoyed, as Bucharest Mayor, although I represent Bucharesters’ votes in the local elections. Even if a person is not respected, at least the public office and legitimacy that person holds, through the citizens’ votes, should give that person due respect from the representatives of state institutions. I’m a bit disappointed, as a Romanian, because I’m a person who believes in this country, believes in Romania, I was and am a good Romanian,” Gabriela Firea stated for RomaniaTV.

She expressed her conviction that on National Day Romanians should be “united,” should mend fences and jointly celebrate their country.

“I don’t believe the National Day is the right moment to group ourselves into the good and the bad (…), people with integrity and people without integrity, tall people and short people, thin people and overweight people, blondes and brunettes. I believe on National Day we all have to be happy,” Firea said.

The Bucharest Mayor pointed out that the military parade at the Arch of Triumph would not have been possible without her involvement in the resumption of the gridlocked restoration works.

The Arch of Triumph will be officially inaugurated next week, after consolidation works worth RON 32 million.

“The Arch of Triumph wouldn’t have opened and the parade wouldn’t have been possible, after a break of many years, without my personal involvement, the involvement of both myself as Bucharest Mayor and of my team of aides and general council members from PSD and ALDE, because it was an effort that cannot be described in words, because we found the worksite closed, like other worksites too. A gridlocked debate between the constructors’ association, the consultant and the designer, a litigation I inherited,” Firea said.

She pointed out she received an invitation from the Ministry of Defence to attend the military parade at the Arch of Triumph, but found out that the invitations for this event must come from the Presidential Palace for officials who will sit in the stands and she does not want to be present where she is not wanted.

Gabriela Firea also said that the winter holidays lights will be switched on in Bucharest on December 1st.

“And we will invite the Presidential Administration, the Government, all Bucharesters. (…) It’s an issue of common sense to invite the political parties too. First of all, I invite Bucharesters to these events. (…) This year in particular, we have four areas of interest, not just at University Square like in previous years,” she pointed out.


December 1st military parade at Arch of Triumph: 3,000 soldiers, military vehicles and 50 aircraft


Approximately 3,000 soldiers and specialists from the Defence Ministry, Interior Ministry and the Romanian Intelligence Service will parade under the Arch of Triumph on December 1st.

Apart from military vehicles, 50 aircraft will also take part in the parade.

The traditional National Day military parade returns to the Arch of Triumph after a two-year break, period in which the event was held in Constitution Square.

Defence Minister Mihnea Motoc announced that the parade will bring about some novelties, starting with the F-16 Fighting Falcon fighter jets, the new combat uniform, the Military Police vehicles and the new motorcycles for Special Operations.

On Friday, November 25, soldiers carried out rehearsals at the Ghencea Training Grounds, and a new rehearsal took place on Sunday, November 27, at the Arch of Triumph.


 Spectacular military parade in Alba Iulia too: APCs, artillery guns, IFVs and special utility vehicles to parade in Great Union’s Capital City


On December 1st, Alba Iulia will witness a spectacular military parade featuring armoured personnel carriers, artillery guns, infantry fighting vehicles and special utility vehicles. The vehicles will be paraded on the 1 Decembrie 1918 Boulevard in front of the Romanians who will be in attendance, celebrating 98 years since the Great Union.

Colonel Marcel Domsa, commander of the Alba Iulia garrison and of the ‘Mihai Viteazul’ National Military College, has stated that this year’s parade will be similar to last year’s parade, back when over 1,200 soldiers, a convoy of APCs, artillery guns, IFVs and special utility vehicles was paraded. For the time being, the size of this year’s parade is not known, but the Police, Gendarmery, Firefighters, Armed Forces, Romanian Intelligence Service and Local Police will be represented. At the same time, like every year, the Alba Iulia-based ‘Mihai Viteazul’ Military College will take part in the parade with two platoons.

Last year, Alba Iulia had the most spectacular parade in recent years, and a helicopter overflew it. This year the air element will be absent.

The parade will start at 1 p.m. and will last approximately 60 minutes. Just like last year, the parade will take place on the 1 Decembrie 1918 Boulevard.

The December 1st events will start at 9 a.m. with military ceremonies and laying of wreaths at the Ion. I.C. Bratianu statue, Iuliu Maniu statue, King Ferdinand I and Queen Mary statues, Michael the Brave statue. The parade will start after a Te Deum at the Coronation Cathedral.

This year too, the 4th Infantry Division based in Cluj-Napoca will take part in the parade in Alba Iulia. The first coordination meeting commanded by the 4th Division’s representative took place on Monday at the Alba County Prefecture.






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