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‘Double Standard’ – Romania Criticises EU Silence on Police Treatment of Yellow Vests

ZAKARIA ABDELKAFI/AFP/Getty Images
ZAKARIA ABDELKAFI/AFP/Getty Images
JACK MONTGOMERY

Romanian prime minister Viorica Dăncilă is chafing under European Union criticism over police clashes with anti-government protesters, contrasting the public rebukes meted out to her country with the silence over alleged police brutality in Emmanuel Macron’s France.

“I saw what happened with the Yellow Jackets in France,” the Romanian premier told POLITICO, referring to a number of incidents in which the French authorities, sometimes backed by armoured vehicles bearing the European Union flag, met anti-Macron protesters with considerable force, prompting worried statements from French physicians about an “unprecedented” number of injuries.

“No-one had any reaction. It’s a double standard. I didn’t see anyone come to the European Parliament and say ‘We want a resolution on France’,” she complained.

Dăncilă also took issue with the fact that her country, along with neighbouring Bulgaria, has been singled out for anti-corruption monitoring by the EU.

“It’s said that this mechanism is meant to help Romania and Bulgaria. It talks about corruption. I’ve seen very big acts of corruption also in Holland, I saw them in France, I saw them in Germany,” she observed.

“No-one ever asked for the introduction of such a mechanism.”

Similar accusations of that the EU acts in a partisan manner have been made by conservative and national populist-leaning governments in Italy and Central Europe.

Most directly comparable to the France/Romania situation is the case of Spain, where violence deployed against Catalans attempting to hold an independence referendum by the previous europhile, “centre-right” government was endorsed as “proportionate” by the EU — at the same time as the bloc was attempting to impose sanctions on eurosceptic Hungary for introducing new transparency rules for foreign-funded “civil society” NGOs.

Poland has also complained of being subjected to “rule of law” investigations for attempting to reform courts which the previous left-liberal government allegedly stacked in its favour before being defeated at the ballot box — with some suggesting it is being treated severely only because it has resisted the EU’s attempts to impose compulsory migrant quotas on member-states.

Italy has also complained of being pressured over breaking Eurozone budget limits, while France is allowed to break the same rules with impunity “because it is France,” according to European Commission chief Jean-Claude Juncker.

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