Basescu, the begining of the end

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The imagines broadcasted Romanian news channels in the last few days reseamble a lot with those taken in Cairo, Tunis or London during 2011. But the essence of these protests are fundamentally different. People gathered in the street after messages on facebook, twitter, and personal bloggs, indeed. But many pieces of the Romanian puzzle are particularly original.

University Square is the symbolic place of the December 1989 Revolution, the place of the marathon protest against glasnost and perestroika, the half-way-to-a-real-democracy promoted by former communists like Ion Iliescu, between April and June 1990. University Square is a sacred place for the people living in Bucharest, it is the symbol of freedom. Here, at University Square, people meet each other to protest against Nicolae Ceauşescu, Ion Iliescu, and, now, as we can see, evening after evening, against Traian Băsescu. And Bucharest people will never accept to see University Square controlled by the army, gendarmers or policemen.

Strategists close to president Băsescu were wrong when decided to let people gather here, in the University Square. Initially, people went to protest in front of the Cotroceni presidencial palace,  a point pretty far way  from the symbolic heart of the Capital. But officials ordered a huge security barrier at Cotroceni, so people went back to their usual and…more powerful protest place. The official thinking behind this was to avoid having the whole country watching on television how president Băsescu is contested on his own field, in front of his own headquarter.  Some people gathered at University Square in the first place weren’t even allowed to go at Cotroceni, they were guarded in the square by gendarmers. What a weird scenario…remember how Băsescu promised to come monthly in the University Square to meet common people. Why didn’t he try last evenings? People are now against him. Why?

Gendarmery was placed on the streets to be violent to the people. Huligans were let to destroy shops and bus stations to compromise national wide anti-Băsescu peaceful protests, and then these soccer huligans were beaten up by gendarners in front of the cameras and during live broadcasting. It is the inevitable picture of an adrift regime for many years now. A regime with frequent authoritarian gestures, flagrant manipulations, extremely tough austerity measures and violence – all of these, a consequence of the excessive personalization of power.  Traian Băsescu had become everything in Romania, an unacceptable U-turn in an EU country.

The prime-minister, ministers, leaders of the govermental parties hidden themselves when protests broke out. The suprem commander, the president who provoked the uprise didn’t have a single message to the people since the crisis have started.  All the past week, he was improperly outspoken and aggressive on the sensitive health system issue. But now he is improperly silent. If we have seen the president comming on Sunday evening in front of the TV cameras to calm down the country and withdraw the huge gendarmery positions from the streets, it would have been natural and the right thing to do. But Traian Băsescu didn’t done this. He failed. It’s the beginning of his political end. And he can’t recover.

LYMEC condemns the deficiencies in the separation of powers in Romania

Sursa informationala: LYMEC
On Friday, January 14th, the people of Bucharest took to the streets in protest following a tense political week. Several days earlier the President of Romania, Traian Basescu, has proposed a new and controversial Healthcare Reform Law. The problems with this project were numerous. Firstly, the Constitution of Romania does not provide the Presidency with the right of legislative initiative, and the fact that the Ministry of Healthcare has obediently accepted this presidential project as its own served only to highlight that the separation of powers in our state was endangered. Secondly, several provisions in the text made it apparent that the current government wished to transform parts of the healthcare system into sinecures for their cronies.
In doing so, they have antagonised one of the most respected professionals in the Emergency Healthcare system, Dr. Raed Arafat, who had almost single-handedly created an integrated early response system, designed to arrive quickly at accident sites, provide emergency medical care to victims and transport them to the nearest hospital. This integrated system, the SMURD, has in the meantime become synonymous with efficiency and professionalism, and President Basescu’s perceived attack on it – as well as his inelegant treatment of Dr. Arafat himself – has caused much anger among the population.
This was the last drop in a cup of discontentment that had been filled over the past few years as the government grew increasingly corrupt, haughty and distant from the people, while at the same time becoming ever more dependent on the whims of a single person, President Traian Basescu.
And so it happened that the people who took to the streets in Targu Mures and in Cluj to make public their solidarity with Dr. Arafat were followed across Romania by people who started venting their anger at the President and called for his resignation.
Thousands of people gathered in Bucharest, first in front of Cotroceni Palace (the official residence of the President) and then in University Square (a place charged with symbolism, as it was here that people had gathered in 1989 to protest against Communism and in the early ‘90s to protest against the Neo-Communists then in power, thus becoming synonymous with the Romanian desire for freedom and civil liberties). They called for the resignation of President Basescu, who was again accused of having gained the second mandate by means of fraud, for the resignation of the whole Government, seen as incompetent and corrupt, and for early elections, as opposed to what the Government had proposed, namely postponing local elections from July until November.”
On Sunday, 15th of January 2012, our colleagues Florin Alexandru Alexe, President of TNL, Radu Surugiu, President of CSL, and Andrei Surugiu, Vice-president of TNL Sector 3, were demonstrating peacefully in front of the National Theatre in University Square with other citizens.
Around 19.30, in the area where they were located a number of hooligans have started engaging the gendarmes by throwing firecrackers in their direction. The gendarmes have struck back, breaking into the line of protesters in their attempt to put an end to the barrage of pyrotechnical material, rocks and incendiary bottles. Unfortunately, in the maelstrom created by their attempt to apprehend the hooligans, a number of innocent protesters were caught, despite them having nothing to do with the outburst of violence. In the attached photograph one can clearly see the moment when our colleagues are ordered to lie on the ground, despite being visibly affected by the copious amounts of tear gas they had inhaled. The image clearly shows that Florin Alexe’s attitude was by no means aggressive and that he gave absolutely no reason to be considered as being one of the hooligans.
Nevertheless, our colleagues, Florin Alexandru Alexe, Radu Surugiu and Andrei Surugiu have been detained by the gendarmes and taken to No.15 Police Precinct in Bucharest. After waiting for several hours the charges against them have been raised – namely that they had voiced against the current regime. Around 22.30, Florin Alexe, Radu Surugiu and Andrei Surugiu have been released.
„Violent incidents have fortunately been avoided since Sunday and peaceful protests are expected to continue.”
The European Liberal Youth (LYMEC) is seriously concerned about the grave and obvious deficiencies in the separation of powers in Romania.
LYMEC President Alexander Plahr comments on the recent events: „We call on the Romanian authorities to ensure, safeguard and defend the right to peaceful assembly and demonstrations. The right to protest against the government is one of the core concepts of a democratic state.”
Reacting to the temporary detainment of Florin Alexandru Alexe, Radu Surugiu and Andrei Surugiu, Plahr states: „Especially in heated protests like this it is paramount that the police takes proportionate measures and clearly separates between peaceful protesters and violent perpetrators. We demand the clear and full application of the principles of proportionality, the rule of law and separation of powers in Romania.”

Joi, 19 ianuarie 2012 de la ora 16.00 la Arcul de Triumf: Miting pentru libertate!

Stimati colegi si prieteni,

A venit vremea sa ne cerem drepturile in strada. A venit vremea sa apelam la una din ultimele mijloace democratice: protestul in strada. Unei puteri care ignora orice mesaj sau propunere din partea opozitiei, a sindicatelor, a diverselor categorii sociale, nu i se potriveste decat o metoda: sa ridicam vocea.

Va astept joi, 19.01.2012, la ora 15:00, la intrarea in Parcul Herastrau din fata Arcului de Triumf pentru a participa la mitingul PNL, ne strangem langa pancarta cu PNL Sector 2.

Vom merge alaturi de Presedintele Crin Antonescu, conducerea partidului precum si toate celelate filiale PNL din tara.

Mitingul politic organizat de Uniunea Social Liberală va avea loc joi, 19 ianuarie a.c., pe tronsonul Șoseaua Kiseleff – Strada Monetăriei (situată în zona Muzeului Țăranului Român – n.r.), între orele 15.30-18.00.

Va astept alaturi de familie, prieteni , vecini sau pe cine mai puteti instiinta pana joi.

Cu stima,

Dan Cristian Popescu

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Piata Universitatii 2012: Manifest

  1. Demisia lui Traian Băsescu și a Guvernului Boc;
  2. Numirea unui Guvern interimar format din tehnocrați;
  3. Alegeri parlamentare și prezidențiale în primăvara anului 2012;
  4. Adoptarea unor măsuri în vederea eliminării posibilității de fraudă electorală, inclusiv prin participarea societății civile;
  5. Stabilirea prin legea electorală a interdicției pentru foștii activiștii comuniști și ofițeri de securitate de a candida la funcții publice;
  6. Eliminarea procedurii angajării răspunderii Guvernului în fața Parlamentului si a guvernarii prin ordonante de urgenta;
  7. Scaderea impozitelor si taxelor exagerate si reducerea TVA;
  8. Respectarea principiilor statului de drept și eliminarea corupției instituționalizate;
  9. Dialog real cu societatea civilă;
  10. Respectarea demnității umane și a valorile tradiționale ale românilor;

Text+idee+autor+sursa informationala: Catalin Stoichita

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