German FM worried about “polarization of politics and society” in Romania

It is worrying that a confrontation about values has been leading to a polarization of politics and society in Romania for a year and a half, German foreign minister Heiko Maas said on Monday, August 27, at the Annual Meeting of the Romanian Diplomacy.

“The voice of Europe in the world will only be respected if we are credible. Any double standards will be immediately used by opponents. Europe has to put into practice the values it has written on its flag – democracy, the rule of law, fundamental rights and freedom of the press. That is why every member country is responsible and we all represent Europe abroad, we will all be measured by these standards,” Heiko Maas said, according to local News.ro.

He also said that Germany is worried that “a confrontation about values has been leading to a polarization of politics and society for one year and a half in Romania,” and that culminated in violent confrontations.

“I firmly believe that, related to the justice reform in Romania, a line of compromise can also be identified, which can unite and coagulate us. In strengthening the rule of law, I would like to offer you any kind of support from the Federal Government,” the German minister also said.

Romania has seen many street protests since early-2017, after the Social Democratic Party (PSD) won the power in the country, with protesters being mainly unhappy with the justice reforms proposed by the PSD. One of the biggest protests staged in Bucharest in this period was organized on August 10, but it ended in violence after a controversial intervention of the riot police. More than 400 people were injured that day.

Meanwhile, the government and the ruling party PSD have been saying that the justice reform is needed to correct some abuses allegedly made by prosecutors and the so-called “parallel state.”

Irina Marica, [email protected]

(photo source: Auswärtiges Amt on Facebook)