President Klaus Iohannis has condemned the violence of the recent protests against restrictions, as well as extremist and xenophobic manifestations. The head of state has also slammed some politicians’ “attempts to politically seize the protests” to turn them in vectors to spread hatred, xenophobia and antisemitism”.
Iohannis added that he understands Romanians for being discontent after one year of restrictions, but explained that “these measures are the only one that help us reduce the transmission of the coronavirus”.
“Romania is a functional and mature democracy, where the freedom of speech is guaranteed. The freedom of thought cannot be confined, we all have the right to express our opinion in public. This is a fundamental principle of a free society and it is not negotiable.
Rallies and protests are natural, legitimate and are part of the structure of any functional democracy.
However, the violent, manifestations, extremism, xenophobia are not acceptable, all these are rudely hidden behind some riots against some measures meant to protect the life and health of all people. Including the life and health of those protesting and denying the dramatic effects of a pandemic that made over one hundred million people sick and has killed millions of people worldwide”, the Romanian president stated.
The head of state said he understands the fears and the discontent prompted by the pandemic crisis, but argued that the restrictions are the only ones to curb the spread of the coronavirus.
“The Romanians’ fears and discontents, in this difficult period, are natural and legitimate. I know it is harder and harder, I know we are tired after more than a year of sanitary crisis. I know it is discouraging that restrictions cannot be lifted yet, although we all would like for this thing to happen at once.
Unfortunately, these measures are the only ones that can help us reduce the spread of the coronavirus. The better we observe them, the shorter the period for their enforcement will be.
This is a choice for life and health. There already too many families in Romania who lost someone dear due to this terrible virus. The efforts and sacrifice of us all, even if they are very hard, save the lives of the ones dear to us.
There is no alternative to stop this galloping number of infections, which would prompt the deadlock of the sanitary system, with the most dramatic consequences”.
The President continued that the virus “has no political color nor opinions”. “It is acting indiscriminately, infecting people regardless if they believe or not in its existence. That’s why this pandemic is so dangerous, as everybody is exposed to infection, and the most vulnerable of us risk develop severe forms. But nobody is totally protected against COVID-19, not even younger ones.
The only ways to stop this pandemic are, on one hand, the restrictions meant to stop the mobility and human crowds, and vaccination, on the other hand.”