With no globally accepted, clear guidelines, every country is dealing with the coronavirus pandemic as best as they can. In Hungary, for example, visiting nail salons was decreed to be a basic necessity, thus making them exempt from movement restrictions. But the Romanian Ministry of Interior’s ordnance issued on Saturday is hands down the strangest one so far: For the duration of the state of emergency, all police vehicles will play the first three paragraphs of the national anthem two times every Saturday and Sunday.
“For the duration of the state of emergency, all special vehicles belonging to the structures of the Romanian Police, the Romanian Border Police and the Romanian Gendarmerie on regular daily patrol will play, through the installed loudspeaker systems, the first three stanzas of the state anthem of Romania,” says Article 1. of the ordnance signed by Minister of Interior Ion Marcel Vela on March 28.
Article 2. goes on to specify that “the broadcast will be performed from stationary vehicles on Saturdays and Sundays at 17:00 and 21:00.”
While we are no experts on government lingo, per our best interpretation, Article 3. then goes on to explain the reason for this ordinance: The order is meant to ensure that patrol cars’ broadcasts are clearly audible and that the officers familiarize themselves with the relevant equipment.
The preamble of the ordnance bears all the indispensable legal regalia: Ordnance no. 54/2020, following Presidential Order 195/2020 (declaring the state of emergency), is based on Government Ordnance 30/2007 (regulating Ministry of Interior protocols) amended in Law 15/2008 – just in case Romanian citizens want to verify that their tax money is spent in a fully constitutional manner.
As for the hard numbers: At the time of writing, Romania had 1,452 confirmed coronavirus cases and 37 casualties.
Title image: Romanian police officers salute as their cars play the national anthem in the city of Arad, western Romania. (source: mediafax.ro)