Barna: Gov't respects right to protest, but will have zero tolerance to extremist demonstrations

The Government respects the right of citizens to protest, but has and will continue to have "zero tolerance" for the "hooligan, extremist, fascist" demonstrations of some of the protesters. "There are two very important plans for the discussion. On the one hand, the right of citizens to protest, and it is a right that we respect, it is a natural right. I myself and many in the current government have protested in recent years against what the Liviu Dragnea government meant and all those abuses of democracy that we protested at that time. So, on this level of the right to protest, there is nothing to say," Dan Barna told Digi 24 on Tuesday when asked about the protests held on Monday evening in several cities in the country against the restrictions imposed by the authorities for the management of the COVID 19 pandemic. However, the deputy prime minister stressed that there is a second plan of discussion on the protests, that of "hooligan, extremist, fascist demonstrations", against which the Government will show "zero tolerance". "The second plan, however, at least as serious, is the one related to the fact that, last night, we officially have an extremist party in Romania's Parliament, which assumed these protests and that part of those who demonstrated, who considers it legitimate to threaten Maia Morgenstern, to go to the mayor of Timisoara at home and to shout fascist, outrageous and unacceptable repertoire. Or those who went to Brasov hospital, shouting at doctors and ambulances: "Assassins". Those people are hooligans, those people are from the extremist area, from the fascist area, and the fact that we could have any tolerance for them is excluded. So, the message is very clear, the right to protest for some measures, with which some citizens do not agree, is a natural right, I repeat, but these hooligan manifestations, the manifestations in the fascist register are unacceptable and I expect - and this will be the position of the Government - zero tolerance for these manifestations which, simply, throw us many years back from what is a democracy, in which the rights and respect of the other mean a lot," said Barna. Barna added, in the context, that people must not ignore these manifestations and show that sanitary protection measures are necessary. The deputy prime minister stated that the Government will make the effort to communicate "even more clearly" on the measures adopted in the context of the pandemic, when asked if the authorities could do more on this topic. AGERPRES (RO - author: Daniel Florea, editor: Mihai Simionescu; EN - author: Bogdan Gabaroi; editor: Adina Panaitescu)

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