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Romania to Repeal Controversial Corruption Decree following Week-long Mass Protests

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Tens of thousands of Romanians protest against the government in the largest protest movement the country has seen since 1989 in Bucharest, Romania.

Romania’s Justice Minister Florin Iordache said he would publish the details of a new bill on the criminal code later on Monday, a day after the government scrapped an earlier decree following mass protests and international criticism.

Hundreds of thousands of Romanians had protested in capital and other cities against the decree that would have effectively shielded some officials from prosecution on corruption charges.

According to the new decree, a corrupt official will go to jail only if the funds involved exceed $47,500.

The decree, passed by cabinet, went into effect immediately.

The rule also allows for corrupt officials to escape punishment completely in some instances, for example if the crime occurs between members of the same family.

An estimated 500,000 persons came out to protest, in the biggest anti-corruption demonstration since the fall of communism in Romania in 1989.

The decree, which decriminalises a number of graft offences, was hastily adopted by the cabinet late on Tuesday evening, barely a month since the Social Democrat-led government of Prime Minister Sorin Grindeanu took power.

A cabinet minister resigned on Thursday over the government’s decree.

Florin Jianu, Romania’s minister of business, trade and entrepreneurship, announced on Facebook that he was resigning.

“It is the ethical to do,” he said, “not for my professional honesty, my conscience is clean on that front, but for my child.

“How am I going to look him in the eye and what am I going to tell him over the years?” he wrote.

“Am I going to tell him his father was a coward and supported actions he does not believe in, or that he chose to walk away from a story that isn’t his?”

Six western states including Germany and the United States had also criticised the government.

Photo Credit: Andrei Pungovschi/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

4 Comments

  1. nene+

    February 6, 2017 at 12:18 pm

    In my Nigeria, we failed the people of Southern Kaduna, Agatu,and the souls sent to early grave instead, the vulnerab IDPs,We failed Eunice, we failed Beatrice, we failed posterity we failed our selves. We chickened out.
    NLC dare not bark not to mention bite. Democracy left with GEJ.
    Peace out!

  2. Razor

    February 6, 2017 at 1:26 pm

    And this is what democracy looks like…

  3. .....just saying

    February 6, 2017 at 1:45 pm

    Abegi, did you go out for today’s protest? Nigerians pointing the finger since 19gbogboro

  4. Ouch!

    February 6, 2017 at 2:55 pm

    How i wish Nigerians can come out en mass and protest against these agents of destruction called political leaders, people whose conscience is dead. How do they even sleep knowing fully well the harm they have caused and what the masses are suffering?

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