Transporters’ and farmers’ protests, on day 6: Failed negotiations, 24 criminal cases for public incitement to violence

Protests by hauliers and farmers continued on Monday for a sixth consecutive day after weekend negotiations had failed. Traffic is restricted on the first lane, in both directions, in the town of Afumaţi in Ilfov county, the road being occupied by trucks.

Prime Minister Marcel Ciolacu has a meeting, Monday morning, with the Ministers of the Interior, of Transport, of Agriculture and representatives of Finance. The Minister of Agriculture, Florin Barbu, will meet on Monday and Tuesday with the representatives of farmers’ associations.

One of the leaders of the protesters declared on Sunday, after discussions at the Ministry of Finance, that no agreement had been reached. “We declare that no agreement was reached, citing European legislation. No solutions were found to reduce budget expenditures in all areas. The protest will continue indefinitely until the authorities understand that their inability to manage a country is real. Everything is motivated by the European Commission, PNRR”, said Dănuț Andruș, one of the leaders of the protesters, upon leaving the discussions at the Ministry of Finance.

In his turn, the Minister of Finance, Marcel Boloș, stated that “they are part of the measures that I agreed with”, in the discussions with the representatives of transporters and farmers, specifying, however, that no measures can be taken to encourage tax evasion. He said that Finance agrees with six measures, including those related to the law of prevention and digitization, but the rest must be discussed with the European Commission, because they involve Romania’s commitments in relation to European institutions.

In the meantime, the Financial Supervisory Authority has proposed a set of measures with the final result of reducing the RCA. These concern, among other things, the revision of the bonus-malus system, the possibility of suspending the effects of the RCA contract, as well as the payment of the insurance premium in installments, according to a document of the ASF, Hotnews reports.

According to representatives of the Gendarmerie, at this time there are protests by farmers and transporters in more than 20 counties.

At the entrances to the Capital city, there are still police and Gendarmerie filters, as the demonstrators do not have authorization to protest in Bucharest.

The Prefect of the Capital, Rareș Hopincă, said on Monday, in an intervention on B1 TV, that the protesters do not want to reach the Capital, but “there are only a few instigators who are trying to convince the demonstrators to force the dams.
The protesters do not want to reach the Capital – this has already been clarified repeatedly with those who are protesting and with whom we have a very good dialogue. Instead, there is the attempt to provoke the authorities. There were, at least over the weekend, attempts to force the roadblocks by people inciting violence, not protesters. This is the big risk. Our call is fixed in the same direction – not to be instigated by those who want to instigate antisocial acts. Entry into the Capital is not desired. There are some demands, all of which were presented to the Minister of Agriculture on Saturday and most of them were accepted and a firm timetable for implementation was agreed. So about these claims, the majority are resolved, the dialogue continues,” the prefect said.

Police representatives announced that 24 criminal cases have been opened so far, for the crime of public incitement to violence. The police self-reported following signals from the public space, as well as a number of protesters who signaled that messages inciting violence were being distributed on WhatsApp groups. At the protest action in Chiajna, a person with a white weapon was identified. The messages distributed were like: “Let’s take the Police car on top and go to the government, because there is no other way”, “Let’s take the axes and go to the government on foot”, “The fight is broken from heaven , let’s get our hands on the shovels and the axes and get justice”. It is obvious that these messages incite violence and we are doing everything we can to identify the people who send these messages”, said the head of the Romanian Police, Benone Matei, on Monday.

Referring to the filters and devices of law enforcement mobilized at the site of the protests, the head of the Romanian Police claimed that “the purpose is a preventive one”.

The case of anti-corruption activist Angi Serban

A day ago the protester Angi Şerban from Corruption Kills who wondered, on Facebook, why a man “stands with a rifle among the protesters” and “if in a democracy the police come out with a rifle at a peaceful protest, isn’t it legitimate to come out and the people with a cocktail?”.

The Bucharest police said, on Sunday evening, that they filed a complaint ex officio after a message “inciting crimes” was posted on a social network. Thus, after the person managing the respective account was identified, an arrest warrant was issued in his name, being a 36-year-old woman, say the police. She was taken to the station for questioning.

The person in question is civic activist Angi Şerban, participant in the “Corruption Kills” protests. She accuses that she was actually lifted from the house, from the bed, by the Police, for a post on Facebook. Furthermore, she says she was picked up from an address she does not live at. “The Romanian Police took me from an address where I do not live, with an arrest warrant for public incitement. They took me to Section 13 and now to Section 18. They walk me between the sections. Mr. Cătălin Predoiu, how do the police know where I was sleeping naked earlier? Is the Ministry of Internal Affairs, Romania listening to my phone without a warrant?”, wrote Şerban.

Angi Şerban says, in a message posted on her Facebook page on Monday, that she was detained for political reasons for being an anti-corruption ac tivits after she “dared in a democracy to ask a legitimate question about the threat of a policeman’s weapon against peaceful protesters”.

I was searched in panties, bra and stockings, fingerprinted, photographed (mugshot), measured, analyzed, put on the criminal record because I dared in a democracy to ask a legitimate question about the threat of a weapon made by a police officer to peaceful protesters,” says Angi Şerban.

She says the Facebook post was at 11:00 am and at 5:15 pm I was picked up with a warrant and “walked with the traffic light between the police stations”.

Europol union denounced pressures on policemen

The Head of the Romanian Police, Chief Police Inspector Benone-Marian Matei, said that the law enforcement had complied with the law to protect the population, stating that it was “interesting” the claims of the Europol union, according to which pressure was put on the police and gendarmes from politicians to use “any” method and block protesters’ access to the Capital. The trade unionists claimed that pressure comes from the General Inspector of the Romanian Police.

“At this point the provisions were very clear for compliance with the law, nothing else. Compliance with the law is not optional, that’s what I wanted to convey to you, and clear provisions have been conveyed to comply with the law to protect the public,” said the Police chief.

The head of the Inspector General of the Romanian Police also stated that the SAS fighter pointed the non-lethal weapon at the car’s engine, not at the person driving the car. “That weapon was non-lethal and as we all saw it was pointed at the engine block of the car and not at a person. Specific measures are taken to protect citizens and police officers. It doesn’t seem natural for a citizen to force a roadblock to run over the policeman,” Benone-Marian Matei also said.

The Europol union claimed late on Sunday evening that “politicians” had the police and gendarmes stop by any means the farmers and transporters from entering Bucharest and preventing them from blocking public roads.
“The ruling coalition is afraid of democracy” and uses the law enforcement officers to intimidate, the police representatives also claimed. The ruling coalition is afraid of democracy and uses the police and gendarmes to intimidate citizens. In the present case the farmers and transporters. There are moments that remind us of the pandemic, with the ILLEGAL military ordinances and the army out on the streets, also to intimidate. Unfortunately, after the actions ordered by Minister Predoiu and Secretary of State Despescu, the premises for a new “August 10” are being created. Yes, our politicians made the farmers and transporters run away. Let’s block their access to public roads, let’s stop them so that they don’t end up in front of the Government, to exercise their right to demonstrate, provided by art. 39 of the Constitution. Why do we refer specifically to the Constitution? Because policemen and gendarmes, at the beginning of their career, SWEAR to defend the Constitution, even at the cost of their lives!”, argued the Europol union.
afumatiAngi Serbancriminal casesEUROPOLfailedfarmersincitementnegotiationspoliceprotestsRCAtraffictransporterstrucksviolence
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