Romanians to Remain on Streets until Controversial Decree Repealed

World » SOUTHEAST EUROPE | February 5, 2017, Sunday // 09:12
Bulgaria: Romanians to Remain on Streets until Controversial Decree Repealed Screen capture: BNT

Romanian demonstrators welcomed the government's decision to scrap an emergency ordinance party decriminalizing abuse of office.

However, they added protests would continue until the ordinance was repealed.

On Saturday evening, Prime Minister Sorin Grindeanu said authorities had heard and seen "many options" and did not "want to divide Romania".

Parliament will now debate a new law on corruption, the BBC reports him as saying.

According to Balkan Insight, the bill will contain the same changes as a proposal.

An emergency decree which the government issued on Tuesday, decriminalizing all cases of abuse of office worth less than EUR 44 000, angered hundreds of thousands in Romania and drew criticism from EU officials.

It also led to the biggest street protests since communism ended. 

Grindeanu added Justice Minister Florin Iordache would take responsibility for the poor communication of the measure. Iordache temporarily delegated his duties to another official earlier this week.

The move to revoke the anti-graft decree followed an intense day of negtiations between coalition partners.

Liviu Dragnea, the socialist leader who is also facing abuse of office charges, earlier said authorities might only backtrack to avoid clashes. 

The Romania Insider quotes him as saying: “I can say that the PSD members and sympathizers can no longer be held in check, they want to go to the streets and express their profound disapproval to the Soros-inspired movement that we are now witnessing."


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Tags: Romania, Sorin Grindeanu, abuse of office, protests
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