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Citu: It is condemnable that we have parliamentarians who support acts of vandalism; AUR instigated violence

Senate President Florin Citu said on Wednesday that it was not normal for Romanian parliamentarians to support "acts of vandalism", as happened during the protest organized by Alliance for the Union of Romanians (AUR) on Tuesday, when a group of protesters tried to force their way into the Palace of Parliament. He described the event as "bizarre", given that state institutions should be protected from such demonstrations.

Citu was asked about the incident on Tuesday when, together with the US charge d'affaires in Bucharest, David Muniz, he was evacuated from his office, while some participants in the protest organized by AUR were trying to force their way into Parliament, after they broke into the courtyard of the institution and vandalized several cars.

"We had to leave. But David and I can see each other to drink coffee also elsewhere. The point is that yesterday it was a bizarre event for me, because state institutions should be protected from vandalism. Eventually, it is reprehensible that we have Romanian parliamentarians who help those who come and support these acts of vandalism, and then they denounce them. It is clear that AUR are those who instigated violence, those who supported and brought those people to the courtyard of Parliament and then wanted to dissociate themselves from them. It doesn't work that way. All the country saw that AUR organized that protest, instigated violence, supported them, and then tried to say, "No, it's not us," Citu said.

Asked if there would be a reaction from Parliament to AUR, he said: "I always say that they should pay a fine every time they (...) do not respect the law, when they go inside without a mask they should pay a fine. Every time."

"There are images, I told the Minister of Interior, every time there are images, it is assumed that I made a complaint and they should be fined," Citu said.

Asked what was the reaction of the US charge d'affaires when the protesters were at the door of Parliament, he stated: "Americans are very organized, I know very well that when they have to execute orders, they execute them." "We both respected what we were told. No, no reaction," Florin Citu added. 

 

Two of the protesters who broke into the courtyard of the Parliament Palace during Tuesday's protest were put under judicial control by prosecutors of the Prosecutor's Office attached to the District 5 Court.

Upon leaving the hearings, one of the protesters reasoned that when he entered the courtyard of the Parliament Palace, he exercised "a constitutional right".

The second protester heard by investigators will challenge the measure of judicial review.

"I didn't vandalize anything, I just chanted 'Freedom!', I only respected the Constitution of Romania. (...) I'm going to challenge in 48 hours, my judicial review will be lifted," he said.

Asked if he would attend the rallies again, he replied: "Of course I'm going!".

A number of 117 fines, amounting to a total of 198,800 lei, have been applied so far following Tuesday's protest at the Parliament Palace.

"Following the measures taken on December 21, in the context of the protest rallies at the Palace of Parliament, an additional 211 people were identified and 45 fines were applied, worth 24,500 lei, in accordance with the provisions of the Law No. 55/2020 on some measures to prevent and combat the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, with subsequent modifications and completions," the Capital City Gendarmerie informs on Wednesday.

According to a press release, further checks are being made to identify and sanction other people who committed anti-social acts during Tuesday's protest. 

About 1,200 people protested on Tuesday near the Parliament Palace over the introduction of the green certificate.

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