Romanian government backs off but demonstrators remain

ROBERT GHEMENT

People protest in front of government headquarters in Bucharest, Romania, 05 February 2017. Following mass protests, Romania's government on 05 February repelled during an emergency session their controversial ordnance after on 04 February 2017 they announced the withdrawal of the disputed bill passed late 31 January as a government ordinance to pardon those sentenced to jail terms shorter than five years.

Romanian government backs off but demonstrators remain


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Romania’s Prime Minister, Sorin Grindeanu, promised to revoke a controversial amendment of the Criminal Code on Sunday after tens of thousands of protestors took to the streets for several days,

The government passed the amnesty bill last Tuesday, triggering criticism as home and abroad. The bill would decriminalize a number of offenses linked to abuse of power. Although the government has backed off, crowds remain in the streets in what local media describe as  the biggest wave of demonstrations since the overthrow of the Ceausescu regime.

“I do not want to divide Romania. It can’t be divided in two,” Prime Minister Grindeanu said in a televised statement on Sunday. Despite the announcement, hundreds of thousands of protestors remain in the street across Romania.

The bill would have decriminalized abuse of power offenses that have a cost smaller than €44,000. That would benefit approximately 30 Members of Parliament of the ruling Social Democratic party (PSD), including its leader Liviu Dragnea.

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