Romania’s Government Backs Off in Face of Massive Protests

Romania’s Prime Minister Sorin Grindeanu withdraws in face of massive protests
Romania’s Prime Minister Sorin Grindeanu withdraws in face of massive protests

Bucharest – The Prime Minister of Romania Sorin Grindeanu announced late this Saturday that his Government would withdraw proposed changes to the criminal code, in face of hundreds of thousands of Romanians who have been protesting for several days on a row.

The Prime Minister Grindeanu confirmed that the governmental decree, which upset most Romanians not willing to see corrupt politicians get away with ‘murder’, will be annulled tomorrow during a government emergency meeting.

“We’ll hold an emergency meeting tomorrow to cancel the decree, you can call it withdrawal, annulment …., and find a legal way to block it from entering into force,” said Grindeanu said in televised speech from his office, where some 140,000 people were protesting.

Grindeanu added that Justice Minister Florin Iordache will be blamed for the ‘confusion surrounding the decree’.

Romania has been paralysed by massive protests during the last week, as its newly elected social democratic government decided to approve a ‘special’ decree granting corrupt politicians more maneuver space to get away with shady deals. This move prompted hundreds of thousands of protesters into the streets, who feared that the fight against corruption would weaken.

International reactions were also stern as the European Union warned Romania not to go back on its fight against corruption.

The EU executive body’s President Jean-Claude Juncker and Vice-President Frans Timmermans reminded Bucharest in a statement that: “The fight against corruption needs to be advanced, not undone. We are following the latest developments in Romania with great concern.”

Romania has been a positive example in South East Europe with its tough anti corruption special prosecutor DNA putting hundreds of public officials behind bars on corruption affairs.

“Romania seems to be broken in two pieces at this moment and it is my last wish for this to happen,” Grindeanu said.

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