Romania rocked by protests after controversial decree repeal

More than half a million protestors rallied against the left-leaning government in Romania. The protests continued even after the government backed down on a controversial decree. The latter, if it was passed, would have shielded many Romanian politicians from being prosecuted. Crowds swelled in the Victory Square of Bucharest for the consecutive sixth day.

Abuse of power

The decree, if passed, would have decriminalized the abuse of power when monetary sums involved were less than 4,000 euros or $47,500. According to critics, this bill will permit the government to free a number of its own officials who were earlier arrested during a drive against corruption. The changes were justified by the government on grounds of reducing the overcrowding of prisons. It also pointed out that certain laws must be in accordance with the Romanian constitution.

The reason for the continued protests is that the revised bill is also a faulty one. This amended bill is scheduled to be sent to parliament. There have been calls for the resignation of the Prime Minister Sorin Grindeanu administration. The protests have been the biggest since 1989. The latter year saw the end of communism in Romanian history. The decree, if passed, would have been applicable on February 10.

Government and protestors

An emergency meeting by the government took place in the Romanian capital Bucharest on February 5. The repeal decision was taken at that time, Protestors, however, were not satisfied and expressed concerns concerning the plans of the government. The have misgivings about the law being redrafted and then send it for a parliamentary debate. It will be forced through at that point. The office of the Prime Minister was forced to witness laser beam made messages projected onto the walls of the building opposite to the office. The beams made up the words like “Resignation” and sentences like “Do Not Give Up”. Protestors alleged that the Romanian Government is now similar to the mafia, and being run like one.

The Bucharest demonstration on February 5 night was planned as the protest movement’s climax. The Romanian Government had hoped that by scrapping decree, the streets would return to being calm. This event, however, has not yet come to pass. The majority of the protestors have lost their faith in the government. They harbor the fear that the new legislation may contain the same elements as the previous one, but much hidden under different form.

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