Romania: Protest against Covid Certificates in Bucharest Escalated into Riots
A protest organized by the parliamentary party "Alliance for the Unification of Romanians" (AUR) against the government's intention to expand the range of the green certificate for COVID-19 has grown into riots, the Agerpress news agency reported.
During the discussion of the draft normative act on Tuesday at a sitting of the Chamber of Deputies (lower house of parliament), the AUR deputies categorically opposed the bill on a mandatory COVID certificate for going to work. They called it unconstitutional and said the passage of the bill would lead to chaos, as many government officials have not been vaccinated against COVID19 and therefore do not have the document. At the same time, about 1,500 AUR supporters staged a protest against the green certificate near parliament.
At one point, a group of protesters broke through the building's fence, breaking the fence. About a hundred protesters entered the courtyard of parliament. The gendarmes did not allow them to enter the building, but protesters threw buckets of paint onto the cars of American and Japanese diplomats in the yard.
The demonstrators then went to the government headquarters, where they also protested against the green certificate. Bucharest Gendarmerie spokesman Catalin Stegeroi said "the demonstration was peaceful and the situation was under control" and assured that protesters and organizers who had violated the law would be identified and punished.
The Alliance for the Unification of Romanians is an opposition nationalist party. Its leaders describe it as conservative and patriotic, but many see it as anti-democratic and extremist. In the last parliamentary elections in December 2020, the AUR won 9.08% of the vote, ranking fourth among the five parties in parliament.
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