Mon, Aug 13, 2018 - Page 5 News List

Romanians protest for second day to call for resignation


Romanians on Saturday protested against corruption in Bucharest and major provincial cities for a second day running, demanding the Social Democrat government’s resignation.

The demonstrations were peaceful, but on Friday, riot police fired tear gas and used water canon on a huge rally in central Bucharest. Hundreds of people including many Romanians who work in western Europe and police officers needed medical attention.

About 40,000 people gathered in front of government offices in the capital on Saturday evening — fewer than the 100,000 the previous night, shouting “Resignation, Resignation,” blowing vuvuzelas and waving Romanian and EU flags.

Several more thousands protesting against graft and politicians’ attempts to decriminalize several corruption offences gathered in the Transylvanian cities of Cluj, Sibiu and Brasov, in Timisoara on the border with Serbia, and in the eastern city of Iasi.

Peaceful rallies have repeatedly been held since the Social Democrats took power in early last year and tried to decriminalize several graft offences.

Social Democrat leader and lower house Speaker Liviu Dragnea was sentenced to three-and-a-half years in prison by the Supreme Court in June for incitement to abuse of office, a ruling which is not final pending an appeal.

In an open letter, Dragnea, who is seen as de facto head of the government, said his party and government would not bow to public pressure to resign.

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