Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Romanians Protest Attempts to Repeal Corruption Laws

Over half a million Romanians continue to protest against the government, with many calling on it to quit even after it scrapped the corruption legislation that triggered an outpouring of public outrage.

The last six nights of large, noisy protests in cities and towns around the country have been the largest displays of public anger since the toppling of the communist dictator Nicolae Ceaușescu in 1989.

The object of public anger was an emergency decree passed last week which relaxed many of the laws prohibiting public corruption.

On Sunday, Grindeanu’s cabinet repealed the decree, but this failed to satisfy protesters.  “They are corrupt. We want justice ... the government will still try something,” said Emma, 24, one of 300,000 people estimated to have gathered at Victory Square in central Bucharest.  “They are liars and bad people,” said her friend Nicole, 25. “The government has to go ... We are going to come back here every night.”

Almost 2,000 people were convicted for abuse of power between 2014 and 2016, and a serving prime minister, five ministers, 16 parliamentarians and five senators were put on trial.

Laura Fatu, another demonstrator, said people simply wanted an end to corruption. “Our money, our forests ... and future are being stolen. We have had enough,” she said.

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