Thousands continue protests against government in Romania

February 13, 2017 01:36

Thousands of Romanians protested in Bucharest and other cities on Sunday against the Social Democrat government that tried to weaken a crackdown on corruption earlier this month.

The one-month-old cabinet of Prime Minister Sorin Grindeanu enraged voters when it quietly approved late on Jan. 31 an emergency decree that would have decriminalized several graft offenses.

The decree, which was widely criticized in Romania and by its Western allies, prompted the largest display of popular anger since the fall of communism in 1989, with at least half a million people taking to the streets last Sunday.

The government was forced to rescind the decree, and its architect, Justice Minister Florin Iordache resigned, citing a need to appease public opinion but arguing he had done nothing wrong.

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