Suceava-based businessman who initiated the highway protest gives tough retort to his critics

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The businessman from Suceava, Stefan Mandachi, who managed to mobilize thousands of people in Romania to join the „#şîeu/metoo” protest asking for highways, has come out again to retort to the harsh criticism he had been exposed to in the past days, coming especially from the rulers’ camp.

Mandachi has strongly denied he would be a secret agent or that he would have been endorsed by certain political parties, saying he is just an entrepreneur and that he is not doing politics at all. ”I have no secret service behind me, I don’t know anyone from the intelligence services (…) I don’t known any key members of any political party, I don’t know people from secret organisations, dignitaries or high-ranking officials”, he said.

In a blog post, Mandachi has dismantled every accusations launched by PSD against him, saying that the entire political class is to blame for the lack of highways in the past 30 years, while asking Romanian entrepreneurs to continue this protest until the needed highways are built.

The owner of Spartan restaurant chain argued that he had not referred to any political party in particular, but to all parties who had ruled the country in the past three decades and left Moldavia region without any centimetre of highway.

I have offended no political leader. They offended themselves through the road inheritance they left to Romania and especially to Moldavia. All of them, from 1989 until 2019. Incompetence has no political colour. I am being accused I have put huge amounts of money in my campaign. Do I have to report to anyone what I am doing with the money I made?”, he replied, adding that he directed the video clip that launched the „#ȘîEu” campaign because he has studied film directing in the USA.

I am shocked to see that in Romania, an act of real courage is suspected as being a conspiracy from the start. I lived in America. Nobody was not preoccupied out there to challenge an entrepreneur’s civic action that was sincere, simple and direct. I am a huge tax payer to the Romanian state, am I not entitled to express myself? I started the video clip by introducing and describing me, how could I have faked such an action considering the assumed risks?”

It would have been very comfortable for me to spend my millions of euro produced by my brain and with major efforts and sacrifice, not inherited, on a beach in Hawaii. Any sane person would see and understand the risks that I have assumed. I have also assumed the risk of being denigrated. Some malicious people have faked a political association and that I would have been captured on photos with the President. It’s lucky some intelligent Romanians who found out it’s a gross fake”, he pointed out.

I have built a strip of concrete and I shot the video clip. Why so much trouble? I have offended no one, yelled at nobody. I have made an ironic, but bitter video clip and posted on the Internet, why am I to blame for a movie where I don’t offend anyone and I don’t instigate to non-compliance of the law?”, Mandachi further asked, explaining: “I have just said: Ladies and gentlemen, I DIE if I am still driving on these roads. You have jeopardized my life, the life of employees, relatives and friends. I want to live”.

“I have broken the chain of fear and we all must melt the chain mail. If we are not united, we’ll be sentenced to start all over again”, he underlined.

Mandachi, who built and commissioned with his own money the first one metre of motorway in Moldavia, also denied he would have taken over the Spartan business from his parents.

Thousands of companies, trade unions, ordinary people, officials from chambers of commerce, embassies, police, President Iohannis and others joined the “#sieu/metoo” protest for highways, while the representatives of the ruling party, PSD and the Government, PSD chairman Liviu Dragnea and PM Viorica Dancila has criticised it and its initiator, Stefan Mandachi.

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