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President Iohannis: Violent manifestations, extremism, xenophobia, intolerable and completely unacceptable

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Klaus Iohannis

President Klaus Iohannis says protests are natural in functional democracies, but stresses that violent demonstrations, extremism, xenophobia are intolerable and completely unacceptable, according to AGERPRES.

"Romania is a functional and mature democracy, in which the free expression of opinions is guaranteed. Freedom of thought cannot be obstructed, we all have the right to an opinion and the right to express ourselves publicly. This is a non-negotiable principle and the foundation of a free society. Demonstrations and protests are natural, legitimate and part of the structure of any functioning democracy. However, violent demonstrations, extremism, xenophobia are intolerable and completely unacceptable, all of which grossly hidden behind riots targeted at measures to protect everyone's lives and health. Including of those who protest and deny the dramatic effects of a pandemic that has sickened more than a hundred million people and killed millions of souls globally," says Klaus Iohannis.

The president strongly condemns "any attempt to politically take hold of the protests to turn them into vectors of hatred, xenophobia and anti-Semitism."

"Politicians, regardless of their party, have a huge responsibility in these difficult times for our country. Violence, incitement to non-compliance with the law, to behaviors that endanger the lives of Romanians, extremism of any kind promoted in the name of the right to free speech are toxic and harmful. Hate and violence never lead to constructive results for society and, certainly, these reprehensible behaviors do not represent Romania," says Iohannis.

Klaus Iohannis points out that the measures imposed in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic are the only ones that can reduce the spread of the new coronavirus and argues that there is no alternative to stop a rapid increase in the number of cases, which would block the health system, of the greatest consequences.

"The virus has no political color or opinions. It acts indiscriminately and infects people whether or not they believe in its existence. That is why this pandemic is so dangerous, because everyone is exposed to infection, and the most vulnerable of us risk of developing extremely serious forms. But no one is completely safe from COVID-19, not even the young people, and the only way to stop this pandemic is, on the one hand, to stop human mobility and overcrowding and on the other hand, vaccination," the president says.

Iohannis also says that in terms of the vaccination campaign, it is well organized and is picking up every day and emphasizes the importance of solidarity and the fact that the authorities responsible for managing the pandemic need to do more.

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