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Protests continue in Romania despite repeal

Monday, February 06, 2017 - 01:37

Romania's Social Democrat government on Sunday (February 5) anulled a decree that would decriminalise some graft offences, an embarrassing u-turn for the country's new prime minister in the face of week-long mass protests and international rebuke. Scarlett Cvitanovich reports.

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Hundreds of thousands of Romanians making their voices heard again on Sunday (February 5) night, despite their government's backdown on a decree that would've decriminalised some graft offences. The order would've relaxed anti-corruption rules and shielded dozens of politicians from prosecution, including the head of the ruling Social Democrats party. But the embarrassing u-turn for the country's new prime minister not enough. Waving Romanian flags and hoisting cardboard cutouts of politicians in prison uniforms into the air these anti-corruption demonstrators want the government gone. The last week gripping the country in its biggest mass protests since 1989's bloody revolution. The government had said the decree would relieve pressure on the prison system. But critics saw it as the biggest retreat on reforms since Romania joined the EU in 2007. Germany and the United States among nine western powers expressing concern. In neighbouring Bulgaria, hundreds of people gathered outside the Romanian embassy to voice support for the protests. Many hoping it will trigger their society to be more active and demanding of politicians. Back in Bucharest, the protestors want heads to roll, and they may get their wish. Prime minister Sorin Grindeanu deciding whether the justice minister keeps his job. Romanians vowing to keep the pressure on.

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Protests continue in Romania despite repeal

Monday, February 06, 2017 - 01:37