Romanian PSD leader says protests “professionally organized”, points finger at multinationals

The leader of Romania’s Social Democratic Party (PSD), Liviu Dragnea, probably the only man who managed to have his name booed by 600,000 people in the streets of Romania in the last 25 years, claims that the protests that have been taking place in Bucharest and all over the country in the last six days have been “professionally organized.” He also pointed the finger at multinationals for supporting the demonstrations against the Government that his party named less than a month ago.

Over 200,000 people light up Bucharest’s Victoriei Square on Sunday evening, in biggest protest Romania has seen in years. Some 600,000 people took part in the street protests in Romania.

Although he admits that some of the protesters are there out of belief, Dreagnea insists that the people have been manipulated and turned against the Government. He believes that the continuation of the protests may tear the country apart to the benefit of Romania’s enemies.

“Whi stands to gain from this. Probably there are some in the country, but surely those around us, around this country, have to gain. There’s a complicated situation in Moldova, there are claims from the new president, who talks about great Moldova, there are other movements inside the country, there is a European context, a regional context, and an international context that have been changing after the election of the U.S. President. In Romania, such a disorder is the last thing we need,” Dragnea said in an interview at Romania TV news channel, according to Agerpres newswire.

“The way they are organized, the size of their financing – today I understand that people came with buses and trains, many people being brought from other parts of the country – shows that the protests are professionally organized. This is not a spontaneous meeting, I mean, there’s not only spontaneity. There is organization behind. There are people who come because this is what they believe, they are upset, it’s everyone’s right,” he added.

He said that it was difficult to say who was responsible for such an organization but hopes that the state institutions will find out who they are. “The ordinance was just a pretext for those who instigated a lot of people of good faith to go to the streets, by misinformation,” the PSD leader also said, adding that all Romanians are now waiting for a message from President Klaus Iohannis.

Earlier this week, Dragnea accused President Iohannis of instigating the protesters against the Government.

The PSD leader also claims that some multinationals may be involved in supporting the protests. “I don’t know what other institutions are involved, but I’ve seen leaders of some multinationals – companies that are welcomed and will continue to be welcomed -, but I found it more than unfair that the president of a foreign bank, an expat, to protest against the Government. Of course, maybe he is upset about the giving in payment law or for other things that we have done for the Romanians,” Dragnea said at Romania TV, without nominating the bank president in question.

Several organizations representing some of the biggest multinationals operating in Romania, such as AmCham, the Foreign Investors Council, and the Romanian-German Chamber of Commerce (AHK), criticized or expressed concerns about the Government’s ordinance amending the Criminal Code.

Earlier on Sunday, PSD senator Adrian Tutuianu, the president of the Parliament’s committee that monitors the activity of the Romanian Intelligence Service – SRI, said that he would ask SRI to come up with information about alleged situations in which multinationals gave their employees time off or even paid them extra hours to have them join the protests. He claimed this was a matter of national security and spoke of an alleged hybrid war that Russia may be carrying on Romania, which may also be linked to these protests, according to Tutuianu spoke at Antena 3 news station.

Some 600,000 Romanians protested against the Government all over Romania on Sunday evening, with some 300,000 in Bucharest’s Victoriei Square, in the biggest anti-Government demonstrations the country has seen in the last 25 years.

The Government repealed on Sunday a controversial emergency ordinance that weakened the fight against corruption, which it had approved on Tuesday evening sparking the countrywide protests. However, the protesters continued to go to the streets in even higher numbers than in the previous evenings, asking for the Government’s resignation. Prime Minister Sorin Grindeanu said he wouldn’t resign and called for the return to calm and normality.

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