HEALTH POLITICS Social SOCIAL & HEALTH

PM Orban: Romania is a democracy, restriction measures are for a limited period to defend the population’s health

Prime Minister Ludovic Orban said on Monday evening on private broadcaster B1 TV that Romania is a democracy, and the restriction of citizens’ rights in the state of emergency took place in accordance with the law, only for a limited period of time, being meant to defend the health and life of each Romanian.

He said that this debate “has been going on for a long time and is part of a type of propaganda that is not only found in Romania, but in all democratic countries in the European Union”. According to him, in our country very many, “including political leaders, have marched to this propaganda”.

“Unfortunately, there are many in Romania, including political leaders, who have marched on this harmful propaganda for Romania and who have challenged any form by which the government can apply its regulations, and to top it all, many of those who accused us of issuing fines and weeping with crocodile tears for the poor Romanians that we fined – of course we fined them , because they didn’t follow the rules, not because we wanted to fine them – the pinnacle, today I’m talking about why in the three days since we have instituted the state of alert under Ordinance 21 we haven’t issued any fines. I’ve rarely been given to see so much wickedness and so much demagoguery,” Orban said.

Ludovic Orban also said on the same television station that in closed spaces where there are more people there is an obligation to carry protection measures, maintaining that the leaders of PSD (Social Democratic Party, opposition, ed. n.) and PRO Romania (also opposition, ed. n.), Marcel Ciolacu and Victor Ponta, respectively, could be fined for not complying with this measure in the Chamber of Deputies.

“(…) totally incorrect misbehaviour on the part of some who claim to be leaders. Here the force of example is the most important. (…) They, in their speech from the microphone, did not wear masks and it was a decision of theirs not to wear a mask. In fact, they consider themselves above the law and believe that only ordinary citizens must comply with the law, while they consider that they do not need to comply with the law. It is very illustrative of the mentality they have in relation to the law.”

He repeated the reason why the Government made the decision to make it compulsory to wear protective masks in confined spaces.

“Wearing the mask is a form of protecting others more than protecting yourself. Of course the mask also protects you, but the protective effect is greater for those around us. This is a decision taken to protect people’s health and to reduce the risk of spreading the virus, a decision that I have made and which I consider extremely important, all the more so since we have practically relaxed a lot of measures, raised a number of restrictions,” Orban said.

Finally, on the same issue, Ludovic Orban said that he asked, on Monday, the institutions of the state with the right of control – the State Inspectorate for Road Traffic Control and all other entities, the Labour Inspectorate, ANSVSA (Sanitary Veterinary and for Food Safety National Authority, ed. n.) and all the Public Health Directorates – to be “extremely present in the field” and to ensure compliance with the measures imposed by the state of alert.

“The fines have been lowered, but we will apply the fines, because (otherwise) how do we differentiate between the 98pct of Romanian citizens who are correct, who respect the law, who behave according to the established rules and the 2pct who do not follow the law?! (…) There is the other criminal lever, because there are certain situations in which hampering disease combat can constitute a criminal act under the Criminal Code,” Orban said.

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