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.”