Statements by Prime Minister Ludovic Orban at the start of the Cabinet meeting

18 May

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Ludovic Orban: We held this Cabinet meeting early in the morning following the entering into force of Law 55 on instituting the state of alert. Following the analysis of the situation from a legislative point of view, we decided to hold this Cabinet meeting to make the decision on declaring the state of alert, in line with provisions of Law 55 taking effect as of today.

As we all know, the Ordinance 21 established the previous conditions, in exchange, after the law takes effect, in order to avoid any polemic on the state of alert, for things to be clear and to avoid disputes and polemics, the decision to institute the state of an alert through Government Decision, in line with law provisions, is what we adopted.

Prior to the Cabinet meeting, we convened the National Committee for Emergency Situations, as in the provisions of Law 55, several measures included in the Government decision on the state of alert, should be adopted at the proposal of the National Committee for Emergency Situations, and in order to have all legal procedures completed and observed, we took Decision 25 of the National Committee for Emergency Situations as the ground for the Executive decision.

Once with adopting the Government Decision, we basically continue the state of alert which was instituted through a decision of the National Committee for Emergency Situations, we pass from the state of alert to the state of maximum alert, as law confers us all levers and instruments in order to ensure the observance of measures, rules that are established to defend people’s health and life.

I inform you that this afternoon, at 7:00 pm, we convened all state institutions with control responsibilities, to draw up a detailed plan on ensuring the observance of measures included in the state of alert, within the Government decision, and obviously, within Law 55.

All Ministries with responsibilities within the state of alert should issue the legislative documents based on law and Executive Decision, in order to establish all rules concerning public transport, the activity of institutions, commercial centers, personal care centers, centers for vulnerable persons. All Ministries should make sure and complete, through joint orders, together with the Health Minister, all secondary regulations, in order to have the guarantee that in each place, things are happening so as to prevent to maxim the virus spread risk.

The Government Decision contains three addenda, as the law stipulates: addendum no. 1- Measures to increase the response capacity,  addendum no.2 - Measures to ensure the resilience of communities and addendum 3 - Measures to reduce the impact of the type of risk. The Government decision, once adopted, will be sent to Parliament to approve the alert state and all the measures decided within the alert state.

In the next period, all ministries, all authorities subordinate or coordinated by ministries must be fully mobilized. The Ministry of Internal Affairs through the police, gendarmerie, border police and all structures, including the local police- operationally subordinate to the national police, will have to be fully involved to secure compliance with the rules. The overwhelming majority of citizens, 98% of Romanian citizens are obeying the law, the rules, people standing by us and whose responsibility has contributed to keeping the epidemic under control and reducing the negative impact on health and people's life.

We must continue to stand by them and protect them from some who do not seem to understand, a minority that, unfortunately, often manifests itself aggressively and in defiance of the rules. We must be on the side of the right people, the people who obey the law, people who are responsible, who contribute to normal and natural conduct. And here, we must call things by their name once again: the better we control the spread of the virus, the more we limit the effects of the epidemic, the greater the chance of returning to normalcy.

In order to be able to adopt new relaxation measures from 1 June, it will be necessary that, during this period, until 1 June, the relaxation measures that we have adopted, do not generate a significant increase in the number of infected people, because otherwise not only can we not take further relaxation measures, but there is a risk of cancelling some relaxation measures that could cause, due to incorrect behaviour and against the rules, a significant increase in the number of cases.

As such, with the adoption of this government decision, based on the law, I repeat, we have at our disposal all the necessary legal instruments, including fines. I was stunned when I saw people accusing us of applying fines, how they accuse us now of not applying fines. Fines are an instrument by which those who do not obey the law can be determined to behave correctly, because correct conduct on the part of every citizen contributes to public health and protects people who are fair, who obey the law and rules, from the risk of infection. From my point of view, as long as it is clear that this virus poses major risks, including to human lives, especially for people with vulnerabilities or other diseases, any behaviour that is not correct and that can lead to the infection of our fellow citizens must be sanctioned. That's normal, that's natural. We are a democracy, not anarchy. Democracy works for the benefit of those who obey the law, and the rules and we, as a government, and the other authorities who work with us must ensure compliance with the law and, ultimately, to defend life and the health of Romanians. Thank you!


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