A Romanian nationalist politician was splattered with ink as he took part in an event to celebrate a national holiday.
In another town, the politician, George Simion, appeared to cuff a man who refused to shake his hand. His cameraman who was with him in the town of Botosani, slapped a woman on the back of her head, video footage shows.
Romania’s anti-Semitism czar said Simion and his followers had „made fun of the holiday.”
„I didn’t see followers, or any kind of politics. I didn’t see patriotism. All I saw was violence, ridiculous attitudes, extremism… and lies,” said Alexandru Muraru, a Liberal lawmaker.
Earlier Monday, demonstrators told Mr Simion he was a “cardboard cutout patriot” who wasn’t welcome in the city.
A protester threw ink at Simion, leader of the Alliance for the Union of all Romanians (AUR) on a walkabout in the historical city of Iasi.
The blue ink hit the right side of his face. Colleagues mopped it up.
„Violence begets violence,” Mr Muraru said.
Police have questioned a man about the incident. He is facing criminal charges.
Celebrations marking the union of Moldovia and Wallachia in 1859 were held in the Iasi and other cities. Hundreds gathered in the central Unity Square, supporters of Simon’s party and protesters.
They held banners saying” “Simion and AUR, you are cardboard cutout patriots” and “Moldavia says no to extremism.” People wore national costumes and carried flags.
Mr Simion and his supporters have toured Romanian cities in the past week gathering support for a bid to remove pro-Western President Klaus Iohannis from office.
They stormed the city hall in the western city of Timisoara which has a German mayor, Dominic Fritz, saying residents didn’t need „this kind of foreigner.”
The party announced the formation of an „anti-Fritz league.
On January 24, 1859, the principalities of Moldavia and Wallachia united to become the Union of the Romanian Principalities.
Moldavia and Wallachia had been principalities in Eastern Europe since the 14th century. In 1859, Alexandru Ioan Cuza was elected as ruler of both principalities, creating the Union of the Romanian Principalities.
The country was officially known as the Romanian United Principalities after the union. In 1866, it was renamed Romania and then in 1881, when King Carol I was on the throne, it adopted the name the Kingdom of Romania which remained until the communists took over in 1947.
The unification of the two principalities preceded their reunification with Transylvania and other western regions in 1918 at the end of World War I.
Little Union Day has been a national holiday since 2016.