Story By: Gheorghi Caraseni, Sub Editor: Joseph Golder, Agency: Newsflash
Romania’s Prime Minister has been fined after he was snapped with other ministers breaking coronavirus regulations by not wearing face masks and smoking indoors at his birthday party.
Prime Minister Ludovic Orban, 56, was snapped with a group of members of the government celebrating his birthday on 25th May and he has now been fined for breaking his own coronavirus regulations.
In the photo, the group can be seen inside the PM’s office at the Victory Palace in the Romanian capital Bucharest.
None of the group are wearing face masks, with their masks seemingly discarded on the desk, and some can be seen smoking cigars as they sip on alcoholic drinks.
Orban told reporters: “It was my birthday, a few colleagues came to surprise me and I served them, as usual, with a glass of something.”
The government has confirmed that the PM paid two fines with a total value of 3,000 RON (555 GBP), the maximum fine for smoking and not wearing a face mask when indoors.
The police confirmed that the five members of the Government who spent time in Ludovic Orban’s office had received fines totaling 12,000 RON (2220 GBP) for not wearing facemasks and for smoking indoors.
Two days after the photo in the office another two photos of Orban smoking in a government meeting room was published by Cristian Vasilcoiu, a former journalist who currently works in the Romanian Parliament for the leader of opposition Social Democrat Party.
Vasilcoiu said: “I don’t know exactly when the photos were taken, but it’s clear that it was during this period as the masks can be seen. I received the picture from sources, like the first one.
“The person who sent them to me wanted to show that, in fact, it was not just an exception for Ludovic Orban’s birthday.”
No official response has been issued regarding the last two pictures.
Orban turned 57 on 25th May and has been in office since June 2019.
According to the latest figures from the Johns Hopkins University Romania has registered 19,257 cases of COVID-19 with 1,266 related deaths.
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