President Iohannis decorates of some of the survivors of the Holocaust, holds controversial speech: In trying to escape justice and keep power, some politicians blame magistrates, multinationals. Reactions to Iohannis’s speech

 President Klaus Iohannis on Monday stated that, in trying to escape justice and stay in power, some politicians are blaming the magistrates, are blaming the multinationals and demonize the European Union.

“Despite all of our efforts, no deed of respect and dignity restoration, no matter how noble or solar it might seem, cannot cancel a crime. The antidote of evil can only be an action meant to rescue our future, through the recognition of the ideological traps and a careful examination of the actions of politicians and their supporters. In the past seven decades, the world has changed, but the instruments of politicians, however, remained the same. Let’s not forget that, in the name of a so-called supreme ideal, by changing the laws and capturing the state institutions one by one, the Nazi regime consolidated its power. The perception according to which politicians, who should represent the people and their interests, have the right to override truths, to identify enemies, to blame various categories of citizens for their own failures is a toxic philosophy. Today, in their foolish attempt to save themselves from justice and keep their power, some politicians are blaming magistrates, are blaming multinationals and demonize the European Union, described as being abusive and arrogant. After you point your finger at them, there will be others who will come next tomorrow, then others, until this indistinctness and the continuous search for the ones to bear the blame will become the perfect pretext for them to capture the state,” the head of the state said at the ceremony occasioned by the decoration of some of the survivors of the Holocaust.

He underscored that “the past is a warning that it always remains valid in the present and the effort to understand it is never enough.”

“It is our duty to prevent and annihilate any action meant to destabilize peace and damage the fundamental European values. It is also the duty of the institutions and the Romanian state officials to protect the citizens, by all means, to safeguard the rule of law state, democracy, to guarantee social peace and respect the essential values. (…) To respect the memory of the victims, to learn from the lessons of the past and continue to cultivate the principles of tolerance, acceptance, solidarity and respect in the Romanian society!,” showed Iohannis.


Existence of the Holocaust Museum is vital


He also stated that the existence of the National Museum of Jewish History and Holocaust is vital.

“I am glad to notice that the political forces have reached a consensus and I hope that this project becomes a reality in a relatively short time. I am convinced that this museum will be more than just a symbolic space, it will run as an important educational resource, especially for the younger generations. Education is the most powerful weapon that a society has to withstand the attempts to poison democracies through extremist, populist, anti-Semitic and xenophobic manifestations. The existence of this museum, alongside the other measures that I brought to mind, is vital for a genuine fight against this latent negationist trend and all the tendencies that still threaten the European states,” Iohannis said at the decoration ceremony of the Holocaust survivors.

He mentioned that Romania has made notable progresses in the direction of preserving the memory of the Holocaust and fighting anti-Semitism, racism, xenophobia and intolerance, bringing to mind the upgrade and strengthening of the relevant legislation and the support for the establishment of the Holocaust Museum.

“I advise the authorities and the citizens, not to stop here, but to continue! We need to persevere all these efforts because there is still, unfortunately, an alarming growth of nationalist and extremist currents, at European level, we are confronted with an intensification of violent manifestation, hatred feelings, anti-Semitic and xenophobic tendencies. All these slippages are unequivocally contrary to a culture based on the fundamental European values and they are the consequences of a lack of knowledge and information,” Iohannis showed.

At the head of state’s proposal, a moment of silence was held in the memory of the Holocaust victims.

Sandra Segal, decorated by President Iohannis stated that the distinction is, among others, a symbol which represents a huge step in mankind’s consciousness.

On Sunday, President Klaus Iohannis signed the decree for the decoration of several survivors of the Holocaust.

Thus, as a sign “of special respect for the suffering endured during the World War II, for high moral character proved throughout life, as well as for the efforts put in for maintaining alive the memory of the Holocaust victims – a tragedy that mankind ought not to ever know,” the head of state bestowed the National Order of ‘Faithful Service’ in rank of Knight upon Davidovits Rachel, Pardau Lea, Schwartz Paul, Segal Sandra, Shai Meir, Szinetar Judith Agneta and Vainer Anette.

Moreover, President Klaus Iohannis decorated Andrei Klein with the “Faithful Service” National Medal 3rd Class.


President Iohannis’ s speech stirs reactions


PSD: President’s message is simply mindboggling. It generates total aversion


Social Democratic Party (PSD) Secretary General Codrin Stefanescu stated on Monday, for MEDIAFAX, that President Klaus Iohannis’s message at the ceremony in which awards were bestowed upon Holocaust survivors is “simply mindboggling” and that instead of generating emotion it generates total aversion in public opinion.

“The message that Iohannis conveyed today (Monday – editor’s note), a day on which we must speak in the memory of the victims of the Holocaust, is simply mindboggling. Klaus Werner Iohannis’s messages are increasingly toxic as the days go by, and those who are writing his talking points and who are manoeuvring him have moved from the level of insolence to a new level – these are messages that can cause public relations damage to Romania itself. This is visible in what he has been declaring abroad too. Today’s message, shocking, simply creates a state of panic in public opinion,” PSD Secretary General Codrin Stefanescu stated for MEDIAFAX.

The PSD leader said that President Iohannis’s message on Monday is “almost identical to the message conveyed against Romania in Aachen.”

“I believe there hasn’t been any other president of an EU member state that would criticise and trample the national interest as Iohannis is doing with all the clique of sorts that surrounds him. This type of message is identical to those conveyed by Monica Macovei, Cristian Preda, PNL-USR-Ciolos, it’s the #resist message, financed from abroad; a message which, instead of generating emotion – as they imagine it does –, generates total aversion in the public opinion,” Stefanescu added.


ALDE: Comparison to Nazi regime is instigation to hatred


The Alliance of Liberals and Democrats (ALDE) Vice President Toma Petcu stated on Monday evening that President Klaus Iohannis continues to divide Romanians and the comparison to the Nazi regime is instigation to hatred.

“Through the speech that has outraged a whole country, given before Holocaust survivors, President Iohannis proves he no longer knows any limits in his political war. Klaus Iohannis transformed the commemoration of the biggest tragedy in the history of humanity into an opportunity to attack his political adversaries. The President cannot remain silent after his statements this evening, he must come out and apologise publicly. To compare a democratic government, a government formed as a result of the citizens’ votes, to the Nazi regime represents either not knowing history or ignorance on the part of Klaus Iohannis. The President chooses to continue in the same discursive note, one full of hatred, of instigation to violence and to the disunity of Romanians,” Toma Petcu points out in a communique remitted to MEDIAFAX.


PSD leader on Iohannis: He looks increasingly like emperor Bokassa, who knew it all


PSD Cluj President and House lawmaker Horia Nasra considers that the statements that President Klaus Iohannis made on Holocaust Remembrance Day are mindboggling, claiming that his discourse is increasingly similar to that of emperor Bokassa, who knew it all, not to that of a European leader, the MEDIAFAX correspondent informs.

Horia Nasra stated on Monday, for MEDIAFAX, that a comparison between the Nazi regime and the Romanian parliamentary democracy, comparison made by Klaus Iohannis, denotes “a lack of general knowledge” on the part of the President.

“The statements that President Klaus Iohannis made against the backdrop of the Holocaust Remembrance Day are mindboggling and inappropriate for a European Union head of state. The comparison between the Nazi regime and the Romanian parliamentary democracy denotes a lack of general knowledge on the part of the President and makes him look ridiculous. Iohannis is increasingly like Bokassa, not like any European political leader. Only “emperor” Bokassa knew it all, insulted anyone and was the holder of absolute truth,” Nasra said.

Jean-Bedel Bokassa was president of the Central African Republic and self-proclaimed emperor.

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