Several local branches of the ruling Social Democrat Party (PSD), posted a photo collage on Facebook Tuesday, having a fake news-like photo caption: „Simona Halep, our great champion, booed by 20,000 people on National Arena, but „cheered by hundreds of thousands of Romanians on Victoriei Square on June 9” (our note: when the PSD political rally was staged).
The photo collage has been posted by the county branches of the Social Democrats from Giurgiu, Tulcea, Mehedinti, Constanta and Ilfov, on their Facebook pages.
The collage comprises several photos featuring tennis champion Simona Halep, accompanied by the above mentioned captions, which induced the idea that it was Simona Halep the one who had been booed on National Arena and not Bucharest mayor, Gabriela Firea.
On the bottom side of the collage, another photo featuring Halep when she lifts up the Roland Garros trophy is attached to a photo from the PSD meeting on Saturday.
Former PSD chairman and PM Victor Ponta slammed the action, while claiming the photo had been actually posted from the PSD main office in Bucharest.
„I ask my former colleagues from PSD Tulcea, Giurgiu, Constanta, Mehedinti and other counties to immediately delete this crap that has been posted by the PSD head office on the local organizations’ accounts. People don’t know (as I know) that this deceitful, manipulative and filthy stuff is masterminded and directly posted from the Main Office from K10 (10 Kiseleff Blvd) by a dubious figure brought by Liviu Dragnea from Neamt (his name is George Harabagiu, he cannot be called <rat> for rats must not be offended, and he is obedient only to <Mr. President>)! PSD members will be unjustly sanctioned and cursed for these horrible lies about Simona Halep/please react,” Ponta posted on Facebook.
In an interview to Press One, the alleged author of the denigrating Facebook posts about Simona Halep, George Harabagiu, has refused to clearly say if he works for PSD or not and has given some strange answers. Later in the afternoon however, PSD chairman Liviu Dragnea practically admits that Harabagiu used to be hired by the party, telling Antena3 that he has just fired him.
A former PSD minister, Ionut Vulpescu, who held the Culture portfolio in Ponta Government, also slammed the PSD organizations’ posts on his Facebook account. Vulpescu, who is still a Social Democrat member, has apologized in the name of the party for the fake news, arguing they are doing the party even more harm.
Romanian tennis player, the new WTA world no.1 Simona Halep has arrived in Romania on Monday after winning Roland Garros title, also bringing the replica of the trophy embodying the first Grand Slam title in her career.
At least 20,000 fans acclaimed Simona on the National Arena in Bucharest on Monday evening, the location where she presented her trophy. The event started with singers Monica Anghel and Marcel Pavel singing the national anthem, along with all the people who came to cheer Halep.
However, the spectators protested when Bucharest mayoress Gabriela Firea handed out a plaque and a big bunch of flowers to Simona, booing the mayor and preventing her from speaking.
Later on, mayor Firea harshly retorted on her Facebook page, claiming that “the Soros propaganda machine, through its mass media tributary tools, has started the action to compromise the event”.
Firea’s post has stirred hundreds of critical comments, so the mayor’s account has been deleted, but after one day her page had appeared again, this time lacking all negative comments against the mayoress.
Moreover, local media reported that Simona Halep had initially refused to go out in the field next to the Bucharest mayor.
“I want to present the trophy to the people. I ask to take the stage at a time. You give me what you have to give and end of story,” would have been Simona’s message for Gabriela Firea. Yet, the mayoress hasn’t respected the tennis champion’s desire and she took the stage next to Halep.