After five days of protests: Romanian government revokes decree

Written by on February 5, 2017 in Europe - No comments

Five days into a series of daily demonstrations in Bucharest and other towns and cities, the Romanian government promised to revoke the decree which triggered them. “We have heard the voices on the streets”, Prime Minister Sorin Grindeanu said on Saturday. He announced an emergency meeting, which was supposed to take place on Sunday. During that meeting, the decree would be revoked, Grindeanu said in Bucharest.

The decree by the Romanian government, lead by the Socialists, would have decriminalized abuse-of-power offences involving sums of less than 44,000 Euro. It would have helped Liviu Dragnea, the head of the party, who is facing a trial for that kind of alleged offence. Dragnea also announced an annulment of his government’s decree, in order to stop the protests, which have led to clashes between police and demonstrators.

From a Bulgarian perspective, the scenes in Bucharest reminded observers of the situation in Sofia, when a government led by the Socialists made the shady business man Delyan Peevski head of the Bulgarian F.B.I. equivalent, a position in which he would have had to fight people like himself. That move triggered weeks of protests in Sofia and the resignation of the government.

Regarding the government decree passed in Bucharest, Romania’s President Klaus Iohannis had taken the side of the protesters. In return, Dragnea called him irresponsible and accused him of dividing the country.

A demonstation in solidarity with the Romanian protesters was supposed to take place in front of the Romanian embassy in Sofia today. Whether it will take place, in spite of the promise made in Bucharest, was unclear.

By Imanuel Marcus

Photo by Alejandro Ilukewitsch

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