Violence flares at anti-pandemic restrictions protest in Romanian capital

Foto: Inquam Photos / Bogdan Buda

Thousands have protested against new pandemic restrictions for a second day running in Romania.

Twelve police officers were injured in Bucharest after demonstrators threw stones at them. None of the officers was seriously hurt.

There were smaller protests in other cities against the restrictions which came into effect over the weekend amid a rise in Covid-19 infections.

More anti-restrictions protests are expected around Romania on Tuesday. The new measures include an 8 p.m. curfew and early closing in places where infections are higher than 7.5 per 1,000 people.

The initially peaceful protest turned violent in the capital Monday evening. Several protesters smashed shop windows and hurled stones at police in Unirii Square, authorities said.

Several people were detained for the violence and police handed out more than 200 fines totaling about 40,000 euros. Police on Tuesday insisted they were acting in the public interest.

“We assure people that our actions are only done …. for public safety,” Col Ionel-Catalin Stegaroiu, who heads the Bucharest riot police said.

Bucharest has seen a spike in cases in recent weeks. It added 1,105 new Covid-19 cases on Monday, higher than anywhere else.

Despite the surge in cases, the nationalist AUR party which opposes pandemic restrictions is calling for daily protests around Romania. It has backed numerous anti-mask protests since the pandemic started.

Romania recorded 120 Covid-19-related deaths on Monday. There were almost 1,400 Covid-19 patients in intensive care units, a new record.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here