Former Romanian Finance Minister Darius Vâlcov must pay RON 20,000 (EUR 4,130) for moral damages caused to the German minority in Romania, the Olt County Court as the second instance decided.
The case goes back to the autumn of 2018, when Vâlcov posted a video collage on his Facebook page featuring Romanian President Klaus Iohannis on a red background and next to a swastika, making him look similar to Adolf Hitler. One month later, the country’ Anti-Discrimination Council (CNCD) fined Vâlcov RON 2,000, and subsequently, the Democratic Forum of Germans in Romania (DFDR) fined him for moral damages.
In the first instance, the Slatina town court, where DFDR filed the lawsuit, found the damage request justified. But Vâlcov then appealed the sentence, which the Olt court as the second instance has now reinforced. The court also ordered him to issue an apology on the social network where the original offense was committed. Vâlcov does not, however, currently appear to have a Facebook page.
Nationalist attacks against the German minority in Romania — who first came to Transylvania as part of a 13th-century reinforcement of Hungary’s eastern borders — are fairly rare, as the minority itself currently only numbers about 25,000. President Klaus Iohannis, nearing the end of his second and final term, is a member of that minority.
Last year, the Romanian Academy of Economic Sciences found Vâlcov guilty of plagiarism in his doctoral thesis and his doctorate degree was revoked.
Title image: Former Romanian Finance Minister Darius Vâlcov. (source: Facebook)