President Iohannis, PM Cioloș slammed for stances on Antena TV eviction case

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Romanian citizens and mass media have slammed the stands taken by President Klaus Iohannis, PM Dacian Cioloș on the eviction ordered by ANAF against the Intact media group televisions.

Romanians posted numerous critical comments on President Iohannis’ Facebook page after he had stated that the national tax revenue body (ANAF) had acted “discordantly” in this eviction case. Iohannis lost 3,000 fans in just 3 hours on Facebook, while over 13,500 Romanians had pushed the ‘unlike’ button of the President’s Facebook page by 4 p.m. on Thursday. Almost 24 hours after the controversial statements, Romania’s President had lost 17,000 ‘likes’.

Iohannis said that ANAF made a great show of zeal in this case, stating that freedom of expression cannot be affected by “trivial administrative matters”.

The moral perspective that you are crediting with your last statements on Antena 3 case is ridiculous and discouraging. Those who voted you are humiliated,” was one of the rebukes. “I have been queuing for 8 hours in London to vote for you. After your statement about Antena 3, I would stay 8 more hours NOT TO vote for you,” another Romanian told Iohannis.

Shame on you! I am withdrawing my ‘like’ that I gave you with all my heart. If I could, I would also withdraw my vote!” reads another critical post.

Later on, some net surfers complained that their posts had been deleted.

PM Dacian Cioloș also had to face the public opinion’s discontent on the topic. Cioloș defended his stance on Intact case on Facebook, stating that he defended the law “from those who wanted mere show”.

On Wednesday night, the head of the Executive reiterated his view on Intact, insisting that he endorses and has endorsed ANAF action “generally and particularly in this case, when the intervention is fully justified by the law enforcement and when the institution is not intimidated by all kind of pressures.”

“I informed the tax revenue body about my full support in all its actions to enforce the law”, the premier underlined.

His post attracted both appreciative but also critical comments. Some considered that by his stance in the Senate on Wednesday, the prime minister conceded on Intact media group, while other accused that he wanted to close down the TVs.

“I am trying to find the balance and common sense, regardless of some pressure or another. Some interpret the search for balance as a hesitation or weakness,” the PM answered to the rebuke that he “is bending” under the system’s pressure just to save his seat.

“I have made no compromise. I defended the law from those who just wanted to watch a show and I’ve tried to have a balanced stance, by stating that ANAF had enforced the law but also by regretting that it was also an attempt of intimidation that was unfortunately speculated by the journalist of the Intact group”.

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