Romanian prime minister fined for smoking

“I violated the law. A commissar has drafted a report, at my request,” says Ludovic Orban, prime minister of Romania, following the appearance of a photo showing him smoking and not wearing a mask in the Victoria Palace.

“There was a commissar who came at my request, I mean on my own initiative. I did not denounce myself. Once this photo appeared, it per se represented a proof that I violated the law and committed two contraventions; and I said, it seems normal to me to pay the fine, so I paid the maximum fine. There is a law that the higher the function of a person, the greater the fine must be because he is more responsible. The agent came, he drafted a report, I signed the report and I was thinking about how to pay it. I could have paid through CEC, but it was Saturday and there was no branch open, so I paid through ghiseul.ro,” Orban said on TV.

He mentioned that the picture showing him smoking in Victoria Palace was assiduously promoted by the Social Democratic Party, which used it to force his resignation.”Every political formation uses this occasion to attack a political adversary, but I am drawing attention to the fact that those who look to throw the first stone should be convinced they have not sinned. If I am looking at the Social Democratic Party, there is no one like that,” said Orban.

“I have been smoking for the last 40 years; I will try to quit.”

“We are humans, we all make mistakes. I’ve been a smoker for the last 40 years. I regret what happened… that picture can be used as an example for kids. I did not wish to be such an example. Not like this. I will tell youngsters, if they did see the picture that in case they still have a choice, they should not start smoking. I started smoking at the age of 17 and have been smoking ever since. Of course, I would like to quit and I will try to quit. I already did once. In ’99, I quit for almost a whole year […] The important thing is, when you make a mistake, you must admit it and try to make things right,” said Orban.

He added that he did not investigate who took the picture showing him smoking and not wearing a mask in Victoria Palace. “I am not interested in making an investigation. I appeared in a position that was not correct; this will make me be even more correct. I am a law-abiding man. It happens on some occasions that you are caught off guard. This was one of those occasions; it was my birthday. I did not invite anyone to my birthday; my colleagues made me a surprise for me and came. I could not refuse and not have a talk with them. Also there at the table, we discussed problems of the Government, the problems we are facing, the decisions that have to be made,” the prime minister said.


Featured photo: Capital.


Author: Blanka Székely