Ruling coalition brings 150,000 people to Bucharest to protest against “shadow state”

About 150,000 people gathered in Bucharest’s Victoriei Square on Saturday evening, June 9, for a large rally organised by the ruling coalition against the so-called shadow state and the abuses in justice. The Social Democratic Party (PSD) and the Alliance of Liberal and Democrats for Europe (ALDE) brought to Bucharest their supporters from all over the country. Some 300,000 people were expected to join this rally.

Prime minister Viorica Dancila and the ministers of her cabinet, Senate president and ALDE leader Calin Popescu Tariceanu and Bucharest mayor Gabriela Firea joined the rally but the star of the evening was PSD leader and Chamber of Deputies president Liviu Dragnea, who was warmly welcomed by the crowd.

The protesters, most of whom were dressed in white, had banners with slogans against president Klaus Iohannis and National Anticorruption Directorate (DNA) chief Laura Codruta Kovesi.

Bucharest mayor Gabriela Firea opened the series of speeches on stage. She emphasized that the people freely came to Bucharest for this rally and were not forced by anyone. She also insisted on the fact that the meeting was legal and authorized unlike the protests against the ruling party in the last year and a half.

“Victoriei Square belongs to all Romanians. It shouldn’t be confiscated by people paid by interests that are contrary to our country’s interests,” Firea said.

Senate president and former prime minister Calin Popescu Tariceanu told the crowd that the shadow state was, in fact, the new “Securitate”, which was created by former president Traian Basescu and is now used by president Klaud Iohannis to eliminate his political opponents.

The final speech belonged to PSD leader Liviu Dragnea, who explained to the crowd that the shadow state was the old “Securitate”, the secret service that operated in Romania during the communist regime, which still wants to be in power. He explained that the shadow state is made of corrupt prosecutors, the DNA chief and covert officers working as magistrates. He also said that anyone can be a victim of the shadow state and have his phone calls intercepted by the new “Securitate”.

“And it doesn’t even mater if you are guilty or not. It’s only important that the shadow state knows what you are talking about, what you think and want. The more they know, the more powerful and repressive they get, while we get more vulnerable. Anything you say they will use against you,” Dragnea said, adding that everyone was a target, not only dignitaries.

He also spoke about the good economic results of the PSD-ALDE government and about how the shadow state and its allies were frightened that they would lose the next elections as well, which is why they are trying to remove the coalition’s leaders by fabricating cases against them.

“I’ve been asked why I chose the colour white for this rally. White symbolises cleanliness and that’s what we are doing. We are cleaning the country of the filth these rats have been spreading,” Dragnea said.

As the PSD leader was speaking, hundreds of protesters were already leaving the Victoriei Square to get to the buses that would take them back home.

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(Photo source: Gabriela Firea Facebook page)