Bucharest: Protests Continue After Justice Minister Resigns

Written by on February 11, 2017 in Europe - No comments

In Bucharest, thousands of Romanians have demonstrated against corruption for the 11th day in a row, demanding the resignation of the Socialist government. The cold on Friday night did not deter the protesters, some of whom were holding signs saying “Resign”. 

Even though the number of protesters has receded since the government retracted a decree which would have decriminalized certain corruption offences, and which had triggered the mass protests in Bucharest and other cities in the first place, there was no sign the demonstrators were willing to give up.

The resignation of the Romanian Minister of Justice, Florin Iordache, one of the architects of the decree, did not stop the demonstrations either. Iordache insisted the decree was “legal and constitutional”, but said that “public opinion did not consider it sufficient”, which is why he had decided to resign.

In the meantime, the High Court of Cassation and Justice in Bucharest rejected an appeal by the Speaker of the Senate, Calin Popescu Tariceanu, who is accused of making false statements in a property fraud case. This means the Speaker, who believes the Romanian anti-corruption agency is “overstepping its authority”, will go on trial.

Earlier on Friday, hundreds demonstrated against President Klaus Iohannis. These protesters called for his resignation, since they blame him for the unrest in Romania. Iohannis, who has supported the protests against corruption on numerous occasions, walked up to some of the people calling for his resignation, in order to talk to them.

Adrian Tutuianu, the Socialist president of the Intelligence Committee, told Romanian media the protests against his government were “manipulated”. This finding was his personal conclusion, he said after a hearing about incidents of violence during the demonstrations on February 2nd. Back then, a group of hooligans attacked police officers.

By im.

Photo by Alejandro Ilukewitsch

 

 

 

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