Thousands brave snow to protest corruption in Romania

Other | Monday 22nd January 2018 | Claudia

Thousands of Romanians set to the streets in Bucharest on Saturday, protesting against new laws that may be put in place which will make it harder for prosecutors to convict criminal offences and high-level corruption.

In heavy snow, fifty thousand people gathered to march towards parliament. The sounds of whistles, chanting and flags were heard and seen with the word ‘Thieves’ echoing through the streets of Bucharest. The animosity could be felt throughout the area as protesters and riot police came to blows in the capital’s university square. Thousands of others also assembled in cities across Romania.

The Romanian left-wing government passed through a judicial overhaul in parliament in December. There were many objections from the European Commission, the US State Department, thousands of magistrates, and President Klaus Iohannis. Many have since come out saying that the bills would undermine judicial independence and has been challenged in court, where a ruling is still being awaited.

If this bill passes it could mean high levels of theft on a grand scale by officials in government, this could also mean visual and audio evidence would no longer be used as evidence in court.

However, prime minister-designate Viorica Dancila supports the revamp of the judicial system. She is also an ally of Liviu Dragnea, the Social Democrats chairman, who currently cannot vote due to conviction charges of tampering with votes.

The new bill which will be signed off by President Iohannis, wrote on Friday to the constitutional court saying that the one amendment that would allow public officials to own businesses, would actually ‘diminish the standards of integrity that would be expected by officials'.

Romina is amongst the most corrupt states in the EU, and as it stands it will remain this way for the time being.