Michael O'Leary, CEO of Ryanair, Irish low-cost airline, is asked in an open letter, signed by the Civil Society of Romania, to terminate the company's financial support to "one of the most deceitful Romanian media outlets". The authors of the letter, who have chosen to remain anonymous, demand that the Irish company stops hijacking the current Romanian political context and using it to promote its corporate interests. Moreover, the letter demands respect for the current honest fight of the Romanian people for democracy, justice and constitutional state.
For the Romanian version of this article, click here.
Full content of the Winter Rising 2017 letter:
OPEN LETTER FROM THE CIVIL SOCIETY OF ROMANIA
TO MICHAEL O'LEARY, CEO OF RYANAIR
In the name of the hundreds of thousands of souls who have been defending the constitutional state from the corrupt interests of the political class, in the freezing cold, for the 9th night in a row, and of the past generations who fought our revolution and died for the nation's ideals, freeing us from the communist regime, Romania summons her children to her flag and strikes for her freedom.
Having endured years of chaos where there should have been leaders, theft where there should have been prosperity, manipulation where there should have been rightful information, she now seizes that moment, a moment to be governed with the right intentions, honorably and in pursuance of the law, relying on her own strength and on that of its people, she strikes hopeful towards victory.
We declare the right of the Romanian people to the ownership of Romania, and to the unfettered control of our destinies, to be sovereign and indefeasible. The long usurpation of that right by greedy statesmen, deceiving media outlets, and double-dealing company owners has not extinguished this right, nor it can ever be extinguished except by the destruction of the Romanian people.
The Irish Republic guarantees religious and civil liberty, equal rights, and equal opportunities of all its citizens, and declares its resolve to pursue the happiness and prosperity of the whole nation and of all its parts. The Romanian civil society therefore believes that any Irish-held company should bestow the same treatment of respect and opportunity to the citizens of the countries where it prospers in business.
Any attempt to hijack the honest fight for justice of the Romanian people and use it to promote a company's corporate interests while funneling money to one of the most deceitful Romanian media outlets, run by a convicted corrupt mogul, is therefore deeply condemned, and regarded with disapproval by the Romanian civic society.
We ask you to terminate your alliance to the coward, inhuman, and liars. In this supreme hour, we ask you to prove yourself respectful of the sacrifice of the Romanian people, who continue to fight for democracy, justice, and the constitutional state.
The letter addressed to Michael O'Leary is inspired by the Easter Proclamation, a document issued by the Irish Volunteers and Irish Citizen Army during the Easter Rising in Ireland, in 1916, which proclaimed Ireland's independence from the United Kingdom.
The protest through this open letter follows Ryanair's real-time marketing campaign on the 3rd of February 2017, which paired a reference to the ongoing protests in Romania with a commercial statement. During the same period, Ryanair was airing a TV commercial on Antena 3, a news TV station accused of deliberately presenting false and partisan information during the protest against a Government's emergency ordinance bill that decriminalized some offences regarding certain forms of corruption.
The TV station has been recently fined by the National Audiovisual Council of Romania (CNA) for not offering evidence to sustain accusations made during airtime against some individuals and institutions. CNA, guarantor of the public interest with regards to the audiovisual (TV and radio) sector in Romania, has received complaints against misinformation during Antena 3's TV shows; the institution has not communicated an official decision regarding this instance yet.
Antena 3 TV station is part of Intact Media Group, founded by Dan Voiculescu, a Romanian politician and businessman who is currently serving a ten-year sentence for corruption in Rahova Penitentiary. Antena 3 critics claim that Dan Voiculescu would have benefited from the changes the emergency ordinance bill made initially to the Criminal Code and the Criminal Procedure Code, being eligible for a pardon and early release from prison. The pardon law was removed from the Goverment's initial emergency ordinance bill and turned into a law proposal sent to the Parliament, where it will be analysed, discussed and voted upon, according to the Parliament's standard procedure.
Romanians are protesting in Victoriei Square against OUG 13/2017, a Government emergency ordinance bill, approved on the night of the 31st of January 2017, that decriminalized some offences for certain forms of corruption, like abuse of power and negligence. The protest, started on the 18th of January 2017, is ongoing. An estimated 500.000 people took to the streets on the 5th of February, the peak day so far.