Saturday, February 4, 2017

Fourth day of massive protests in Romania, 120,000 people. Video

VIDEO Fourth day of massive protests in Romania, 120,000 people sing national anthemn in Bucharest, huge rallies expected over the weekend
Tens of thousands of people went to the streets for the fourth day in a row on Friday evening to protests against an emergency ordinance that may weaken the fight against corruption in Romania. The weekend is expected to bring even bigger rallies as people are determined to get the Government to withdraw the ordinance than partly decriminalizes abuse of office, which starts producing its effects on February 11.
Update 2: Over 120,000 people, according to TVR, maybe 150,000 according to Digi24 and were in Bucharest’s Victoriei Square at 22:00 (Opening photo: Dan Mihai Balanescu). They sang Romania’s national anthemn Desteapta-te, Romane! (Wake up, Romanian!) – video by Romania’s public television TVR. Between 250,000 and 300,000 people protested all around Romania.

Image caption
The announcement came as protesters took to the streets for a fifth consecutive day AP.
Romania to withdraw corruption decree after mass protests
The Romanian government says it will withdraw a controversial decree that would have decriminalised some corruption offences.
Prime Minister Sorin Grindeanu said it would be repealed on Sunday.
"I do not want to divide Romania. It can't be divided in two," Mr Grindeanu said in a televised statement.
Tens of thousands of flag-waving protesters in central Bucharest cheered his announcement, which came after five consecutive days of demonstrations.
The protests in the eastern European country against the decree have been the largest since the fall of communism in 1989.
Mr Grindeanu said he "heard and saw many opinions", including from "the voice of the street". He said that parliament will now debate a new corruption law.
He added Justice Minister Florin Iordache would take responsibility for the poor communication and confusion around the controversial measure which would have allowed many officials convicted of corruption to leave prison.
Rallies outside parliament
The decree was meant to come into force at midnight on 10 February.
It would have decriminalised abuse of power offences when sums of less than €44,000 (£38,000; $47,500) are involved.
One immediate beneficiary would have been Liviu Dragnea, who leads the ruling PSD party and faces charges of defrauding the state of €24,000.
The leftist government only returned to power in December after protests forced its last leader from power in October 2015.
Mass protests force Romania to scrap decree decriminalizing graft

By Radu-Sorin Marinas | BUCHAREST
Romania's prime minister said on Saturday he was scrapping a decree that would have shielded dozens of politicians from prosecution for corruption, bowing to one of the biggest protests since the fall of dictator Nicolae Ceausescu in 1989.
Sorin Grindeanu said the decree - which decriminalized several graft offences in what the government said was a bid to relive pressure on the prison system - would be repealed on Sunday, just five days after is was approved by the cabinet.
It would have come into force at the end of next week.
"I do not want to divide Romania. Romania can't be split into two. Right now Romania seems broken in two. My last desire is to witness this," Grindeanu said, referring to the public disgust at the decree which brought hundreds of thousands onto the streets every day since it was passed.
While he made the announcement live on television, some of the anti-corruption protesters outside his office, which police estimated at 170,000, chanted: "Resign! Resign!" and waved the Romanian flag.
Soon after, an image of a map of Romania was laser-projected onto a nearby building, with the words: "We WOKE UP!" Protests in some 70 cities nationwide were estimated by police to number 330,000 people.
"They must go. This is an incompetent government," said one protester who gave his name as Gabriel. "We don't want to see this repeated. We won't give up."


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