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Thread: Romanian government stands ground as thousands protest in anti-graft backlash

  1. #1
    A Self Important Senior Contributor troung's Avatar
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    03 Aug 03

    Romanian government stands ground as thousands protest in anti-graft backlash

    Romanian government stands ground as thousands protest in anti-graft backlash

    By Radu-Sorin Marinas and Luiza Ilie | BUCHAREST

    Romania's government on Thursday rejected calls to withdraw a decree that critics say marks a major retreat on anti-corruption reforms, standing its ground as huge nationwide protests entered a third day.

    After 250,000 people took to the streets on Wednesday evening, cracks in government unity emerged Thursday morning with the resignation of a cabinet minister and a call from a vice-president of the ruling party for the decree to be rescinded.

    About the same numbers of anti-graft peaceful demonstrators rallied in dozens of Romanians cities and towns on Thursday. Riot police estimated some 80,000 people were gathered in front of the government's headquarters in Bucharest's biggest square.

    Prime Minister Sorin Grindeanu has the full support of the ruling Social Democrat (PSD) party, said party leader Liviu Dragnea, who had picked Grindeanu to head the government after Dragnea himself was barred by a previous vote-rigging conviction.

    "The government and the parties that back it are determined to exercise the executive and legislative power granted by the citizens," he told reporters after a meeting of senior party officials and Grindeanu.

    The order, hastily adopted late on Tuesday, has triggered some of the biggest nationwide demonstrations since the communist leader Nicolae Ceausescu was overthrown by a popular uprising that ended with the death of Ceausescu and his wife in front of firing squad on Christmas Day in 1989.

    Asked if the cabinet, in power for less than a month, planned to withdraw the decree, Grindeanu said: "No, we don't."

    "I came here to help repair what our rulers have done," said 31-year-old Carmen Druta, an artist who designs and makes bracelets, while protesting in Bucharest's main square, where people were shouting "Thieves, thieves."

    Romania, a NATO-member country of 20 million people, is a staunch ally of Washington, with troops in Iraq and Afghanistan, and hosts a U.S. anti-missile system. It joined the European Union in 2007, but it has struggled to combat endemic corruption and remains one of the bloc's poorest members.
    To sit down with these men and deal with them as the representatives of an enlightened and civilized people is to deride ones own dignity and to invite the disaster of their treachery - General Matthew Ridgway

  2. #2
    Senior Contributor Doktor's Avatar
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    25 Aug 08
    Skopje, Macedonia
    What's your take on this, Troung?

    I don't follow much, but they want to decriminalise official misconduct in cases where the financial damage is less than 44,000 euros. People see it as a decriminalistion of corruption and are mainly peaceful.
    No such thing as a good tax - Churchill

    To make mistakes is human. To blame someone else for your mistake, is strategic.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    25 Mar 10
    London, England
    Good on the Romanians for trying to stop this.
    Mass protests shouldn't be taken lightly, especially in that part of the world as we've seen.

  4. #4
    Senior Contributor
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    12 Aug 08
    More demos in Bucharest tonight.

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