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PM Orban: Without measure of isolation and quarantine, Romania would have been Italy squared

Prime Minister Ludovic Orban said on Sunday evening that there is an attitude of relaxation and neglect of the danger posed by the pandemic, largely generated by positions taken by some “irresponsible” political leaders, who urged people not to respect the rules, mentioning at the same time that, if the measure of isolation and quarantine had not been taken,”  Romania would have been squared”.

In an interview with private TV broadcaster Realitatea Plus, Orban was asked about the measures that should be taken by the Government in case of a second wave of the epidemic with the new coronavirus.

“Here the opinions vary a great deal on this subject. We are not talking about a second wave yet. In order for a second wave to come, the first wave must pass. The first wave has not passed, and what is happening in Romania is, to a certain extent, normal. Anyway, Romanians have been subjected to restrictive measures, which are very difficult to accept. Although we have had a step-by-step relaxation plan, a gradual plan, a plan designed to allow activities to resume in the descending order of the epidemiological risk, there is a relaxation and an attitude of neglect of the danger, so to speak, which has been largely generated by many positions taken, unfortunately, by irresponsible political leaders who have urged people not to follow the rules, who trivialized the danger in public speeches and who determined many Romanians not to perceive the real gravity of this epidemic’s risk,” said Orban.

The prime minister also spoke in the interview about the National Liberal Party (PNL)’s proposal to dismiss the Ombudsman, Renate Weber, whom he reproached the notifications addressed to the Constitutional Court, which “deprived the state authorities of the necessary tools to ensure compliance with the rules.”

“It is serious that the attacks on the Constitutional Court generated by the Ombudsman have deprived the state authorities of the necessary tools to ensure compliance with the rules and, on the other hand, have created many situations that are likely to increase the epidemiological risk. Let me give you just one example – the last attack at the Constitutional Court against isolation and quarantine. Had we not taken the measure of isolation and quarantine, Romania would have been Italy squared, because we had over 1.7 million Romanians, between February 26 and June 1, who came from countries where the epidemic was extremely strong and for whom, if we had not had at our disposal the possibility to take the measure of isolation or quarantine, infected people would have practically move around in society and spread the virus (…). The same with fines. It’s unfair. So you have 200,000 people who have broken the law, who have been fined, and you’re on their side, you’re not on their side, not on the side of the 19 million. That is 99% of the Romania’s population, who were fair and complied with the rules, were in a way sanctioned by this decision to cancel the fines (…). This continues the line of people placed by PSD [Social Democratic Party] in various public institutions who take the side of those who do not respect the law, of those who break the law and total contempt for the majority of the population who respects the law,” specified Orban, according to Agerpres.

According to the prime minister, if PSD does not vote in Parliament for the dismissal of Renate Weber from the position of Ombudsman, then this party is also in solidarity with the latter’s actions, including the decision to refer to the Constitutional Court the law on taxation of special pensions.

“We have initiated the procedure for the dismissal of the person holding the position of Ombudsman, not for dismissal of the Ombudsman. We want an Ombudsman who acts in the constitutional and legal sense of the Ombudsman’s institution, that is to defend people’s rights. We will see. We have initiated the procedure, we will see what the PSD will do. If the PSD does not support this approach, it means that it shares all the actions of the Ombudsman, Renate Weber, and is in solidarity with these actions, including the appeal to the Constitutional Court of the law voted by Parliament on the taxation of special pensions,” the head of the Government underlined.

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