Fresh News

Monday, 20 July

Prime Minister Ludovic Orban attended the ceremony held on the occasion of the Romanian Aviation and Air Force Day

Press statements by Prime Minister Ludovic Orban after attending the ceremony held on the occasion of the Romanian Aviation and Air Force Day

 

Ludovic Orban: I wanted to attend the Aviation Day festivities to show my respect, special appreciation for the bravery, spirit of sacrifice, high –training and the decisive role that the Aviation plays, both military Aviation, and the aviation of the Internal Affairs Ministry, and the civil Aviation in Romania’s defence and  economic development. Happy anniversary, dear aviators and clear skies!

 Reporter: Considering the number of cases, Mr Prime Minister, are we likely to return to the state of emergency in August?

Ludovic Orban: I was asked this question many times. Our goal is to use all the institutional leverages we have at our disposal to manage, stem the epidemic and reduce the number of positive cases.

Reporter: But taking into account..

Ludovic Orban:  As soon as the law enters into force, we will establish all necessary measures and actions that are allowed under the new law so as to efficiently fight in defence of the health and life of Romanians. We do not want to impose any additional restrictions, we do not want to take any more measures that would have a negative impact on the economy. We are sending the same message to people: observe rules, comply with the healthcare protection measures which are simple and have the highest impact in stemming the epidemic.

Reporter: /…/ it shows that failure to observe measures until September will lead to one million cases. Is it likely to happen so?

Ludovic Orban: There are several forecasts which have been made ever since the beginning of the epidemic. I remember a very pessimist forecast regarding Romania, with some figures for April – May which were not confirmed. As far as we are concerned, we are doing our duty. All institutions, authorities, structures in the Government’s coordination and the frontline specialists are doing their duty and take all possible legal measures. As regards these measures, I think you noticed an enhanced presence of all control teams, within all institutions with control responsibilities. We have been conducting a communication campaign to persuade Romanians to observe rules. We have had several talks with the representatives of the public institutions, and of the private sector, to request the participation of the leaders of companies, institutions, regardless of whether it is about church or other institutions, to promote laws observance, and to make sure that laws are obeyed in companies, public transport, commercial spaces, religious services, or in any case of human interaction. These are the messages we constantly give, if we are responsible, if we protect our health, we will manage to stem this epidemic, and this epidemic will not have a negative impact on our daily life. It is much simple to wear a mask, to keep physical distance, observe hygiene rules, than to deal with unwanted situations.

Reporter: Have you taken a decision regarding child benefits? Will you double them, as the law requires?

Ludovic Orban: Today is the Aviation Day, and Holy Prophet Elijah Feast Day, I wish all those with this name or who's name is derived from Elias a happy St Elias Feast Day!

Reporter: Mr Prime Minister, on the page of Ministry /…/

Reporter: /…/quarantine, on tomorrow Cabinet meeting?

Ludovic Orban: This is not the framework to communicate this topic. You know very well that several meetings, several talks are scheduled on this topic. We are preparing all necessary measures to enforce the law provisions, and use all the levers provided by the law. We will most likely have a Cabinet meeting tomorrow morning to amend the Government decision on the state of alert, so that we can introduce all the measures that are allowed by law. We are also preparing, from an administrative and managerial point of view, all the relevant departments, whether it is the National Public Health Institute (INSP), the public health directorates, the emergency management inspectorate, the Control Centre, we are preparing them all to decide, at a fast pace, the necessary measures based on the provisions of the law.

Reporter: The first page of the Health Ministry' site has some recommendations in the context of the coronavirus epidemic, and we have noted that one of the recommendations pertains to the fact that the mask is worn only if you suspect you are sick.

Ludovic Orban: These recommendations are probably outdated. There is a Government decision which instituted, once with passing from the state of emergency to the state of alert, the compulsoriness of wearing mask indoors, in means of transport, in commercial spaces, at job place, in all closed spaces, or places of human interaction. The compulsoriness of mask wearing was instituted by the Government Decision regarding the state of alert.

Reporter: How many masks are you changing per day?

Ludovic Orban: It is hard for me to tell you but as a rule, if I attend such an event, I change my mask and wear a new one.

Reporter: Are you considering reducing the opening hours of terraces?
Mr. Prime Minister, PSD has announced that it will submit a motion of censure ...

Ludovic Orban: We are considering stepping up checks wherever we have information on breaches of rules, including with respect to clubs and terraces that have extended hours and actually operate as a kind of club, so that we can make sure that the owners, managers are involved in observing the rules.

Reporter: It seems that those fines of 10,000 lei are not enough, because I saw that it was a party on the seaside.

Ludovic Orban: We cannot change the amount of fines, following the decisions of the Constitutional Court, this can be done only by law adopted in Parliament. All fines are applied based on Law 55, the law is the framework law regarding the state of alert and we cannot give higher fines than the maximum amount established by this law or by related normative acts. There was an attempt to increase the fines a little in the current law regarding the breach of isolation, but in the end, it was not successful, in the end the Parliament is sovereign, following the decisions of the Constitutional Court on all these aspects related to the sanctioning part, we do nothing but observe the provisions of the law…

Reporter: Do restaurants still have a chance to open soon?

Ludovic Orban: But we also have other levers available: the suspension of the operating license ... Of course, here we would need a much more serious support from the mayors, because for many types of activities, town halls issue the operating license, they have the power to suspend these licenses, and I request the support of all mayors, in fact we have announced that we will continue discussions with representative associations of mayors, Association of Municipalities, Association of Cities, Association of Communes, to improve the collaboration and involvement of mayors in making sure that the communities they are leading, observe the rules.

Reporter: Basically, under these conditions, restaurants have little chance of reopening too soon?

Ludovic Orban: I have given the answer in this respect. As long as we fail to record a downward trend in the number of positive cases, we cannot take other relaxation measures. I understand the problems that the restaurant owners are facing, I'm sorry that it was necessary ... The relaxation plan established July 15 as opening date, of course, with established rules that we agreed together in the negotiations we had, the date of the reopening of the restaurants in closed spaces. That was not possible. We are responsible and we have realized that we can no longer relax an activity where there is an epidemiological risk, where there is a low possibility of compliance with health protection measures and, therefore, this activity will be postponed until we manage to impose a downward trend regarding the number of people who are infected.

Reporter: Mr. Prime Minister, I would also ask you about the motion of censure announced by the PSD yesterday. What do you think about their announcement?

Ludovic Orban: I have made other statements on this subject. I see no serious basis for tabling this motion of censure.

Reporter: But it's timely ...

Ludovic Orban: The Government I am leading has done its duty with dedication, spirit of sacrifice, from morning till night, we have been on the front line for months and it seems to me that it would be a politicking act that would only have negative effects on democracy in Romania and especially on the capacity of state institutions to cope with the challenges of the epidemic and the challenges of economic recovery.

Reporter: Will you impose special measures on the seaside? Are you thinking about that?

Ludovic Orban: It is difficult to impose special measures. We have increased the presence of control institutions in particular, so as to increase the number of people in the control teams, because it is true that on the seaside, the number of breaches of the rules is higher than in other areas. I don't think a special regime is needed. The only thing we thought about was the 11:00pm issue. No, I haven't made the decision yet because I saw, for example, that many clubs are opened until 11pm, only that the breaches of the rules occur until 23:00. I asked all the institutions with control responsibilities to carry out the controls without prior notice, because until now the controls have been carried out at many terraces, where we had clear signals, complaints from customers that the rules have not been followed, and by the time of controls, everyone complied with the rules. It is clear that they had tips from the control teams that they will be checked and we asked the prefects to do checks without prior notice and without the team members knowing where they are going, except for the coordinator. Thank you!

 



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