A photo showing the Prime Minister Ludovic Orban smoking indoors and several ministers holding glasses with alcoholic beverages or cigarettes has inflamed the spirits in the online environment on Friday.
The photo, taken in one of the Government offices was widely shared on the Internet, stirring a wave of vehement criticism. Equally from the Opposition, but also from many social media users revolted by the “double standard and hypocrisy” of the Government members who imposed to Romania’s population very strict rules from sanitary point to prevent the COVID-19 spreading , but also the highest fines in Europe during the lockdown.
The photo shows Prime Minister Ludovic Orban, sitting on a chair next to a table, with his cigarette lit. In front of him is a glass of what appears to be beer.
Deputy Prime Minister Raluca Turcan is also present in the photo that inflamed the internet.
In the room there are also the Foreign Minister Bogdan Aurescu, who wears gloves, but holds a cigar in his hands, the Minister of Energy Virgil Popescu, who has a glass of drink in his hand, but also Minister of Transports Lucian Bode.
From the photo it is clear that at least one person is still in the room.
Orban: The photo is real, it was taken on my birthday
Asked by reporters on Friday about the photo in which several members of the Government appear while smoking and consuming alcoholic beverages, Ludovic Orban said that it was taken in his office, on Monday, on his birthday.
“Yes, I saw the photo. It was taken on my birthday, May 25th. A few colleagues came. It is real, I cannot deny, as others do, things in the field of evidence.
He also said that there were “three colleagues in the room who are not seen in the picture”. Asked who took the photo, the prime minister said that “eventually, whoever served us could do it”.
“It was my birthday, some colleagues came to surprise me and I served them, as usual, with a glass of something”, Orban stated.
Ponta, Teodorovici criticize the members of the Orban Cabinet for breaking the law and the sanitary rules during the state of alert
“The first Commandment – Wear a mask indoors!
The 2nd Commandment – Keep a social distance!
The 3rd Commandment – Do not smoke in public institutions!
The 4th Commandment – Don’t say that you don’t have money to increase children’s allowances while drinking a whiskey that costs a 6- month allowance!
The 5th Commandment – Don’t say you don’t have pension money when you smoke cigars that cost as much as a pension for a month!
The 6th Commandment – You can do what you want in the Government premises only because Iohannis put you there and not the people / So mock them as much as you want it doesn’t matter / All the rules are for the “stupid” Romanians, not for the PNL Team!
The 7th Commandment – To go out and say that whiskey and cigars were left there by PSD, only to destroy the “red plague”!
Commandments 8, 9, 10 – If you vote for these people again, it means that you like to be treated like that !!!
I also asked former collaborators from the Government what they were doing in that office and what they were watching (I know very well that office on the 1st floor). I found out the answer: they were watching TV because it was Victor Ponta on RTV! Seriously”, the Pro Romania chairman Victor Ponta (a former Prime Minister) wrote on Facebook.
In turn, the former SocDem Finance Minister Eugen Teodorovici demanded the resignation of the Prime Minister Ludovic Orban.
“This is what happens in the office of the Prime Minister of Romania‼ The country is burning and the PNL members are burning … This is what the” Liberals “do at governing‼ (…) Orban and his gang of thieves and traitors smoke, drink alcohol in the offices of the public institutions they run‼ Orban shame on you , PNL shame on you‼ RESIGNATION‼ ”, Teodorovici wrote on Facebook.
Gov’t announces that the Premier pays fines for smoking and not wearing mask indoors
Premier Ludovic Orban paid on Saturday through the platform www.ghiseul.ro two fines of 3,000 lei in total, the maximum amount provided by law, for smoking and not wearing a mask indoors, the government said in a release.
This comes after a photo showing Orban and several government members with no masks and smoking inside a Victoria Palace office was circulated on social media. The gathering was reportedly occasioned by the Prime Minister’s birthday.
“The Prime Minister considers that the rules must be equally respected by every citizen, regardless of their position, and if they are violated, the sanctions established by law must be applied without distinction,” the cited source said.