No Confidence Vote Due against Romania's Govt after 6th Night of Protests

World » SOUTHEAST EUROPE | February 6, 2017, Monday // 11:35
Bulgaria: No Confidence Vote Due against Romania's Govt after 6th Night of Protests File photo, EPA/BGNES

Parliament in Romania will deal with both a no-confidence motion against the government and a state budget on Monday, after days of protests against the government.

The motion, filed by the National Liberal Party (PNL) and the Union to Save Romania (USR) will be read at noontime, according to the Romania Insider.

Demonstrators took to the streets for a sixth successive night on Saturday after the cabinet of Prime Minister Sorin Grindeanu abolished a controversial decree partly decriminalizing abuse of office, but said it would put forward legislation amendments and table them to Parliament instead.

More than 200 000 are thought to have taken part in Bucharest alone (and more than half a million across the country), according to some local media. The Bulgarian National Radio's correspondent puts the number at 250 000 in the capital. The latest demonstration in Bucharest is now thought to have been the biggest since communism ended.

The Bulgarian National Television showed people with posters thanking social democrat leader Liviu Dragnea of "uniting" them. Others read "We don't BeLiviu", and there were some expressing gratitude to Bulgarians for their support.

A solidarity rally was held in Bulgaria's capital Sofia, at the Romanian embassy, a few hours earlier.

Counter-protests could also be seen in several spots across the country, with hundreds of people taking to the streets to support the social democratic party (PSD)-dominated government.   

Dragnea mantains the protests are "professionally organized" as "there is not only spontaneity" in the meetings and blames multinationals for allegedly backing the demonstrations.

The decree that sparked massive public outcry would have decriminalized abuse of office counts worth less than EUR 44 000 if it had entered into force.

Romania is now set to publish the bill that would amend the Criminal Code, according to Justice Minister Florin Iordache.

After suggesting the government might revoke the decree, Dragnea said Iordache would have to bear responsibility for supposedly miscommunicating details around the decree.

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Tags: Romania, protests, abuse of office, Liviu Dragnea
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