Protest over Corruption within Romania
By: Natalie Smith
The Romanian government has planned to decriminalize people with misconduct charges whose financial damage is 200,000 dollars or less. The government’s main goal appears to be to decriminalize the act of corruption. This governmental plan was released late on February 1st. This government plan angers thousands of Romanians. Romanians took to the streets of Romania to protest this plan the day after it was released. This plan has angered many Romanians, because they fear corruption creeping back into the Romanian government. Romania has been fighting to end corruption within their government for the past year. Many protesters believe that this pardon by the government could cause a major setback in the fight against corruption. The Romanian’s government plan to decriminalize people with misconduct charges is a major issue, but the response by the Romanian people is even more important. The protests within the streets of Romanian are the largest protests in Romanian since the fall of communism around 27 years ago. On February 1st around 150,000 protesters gathered in Bucharest to protest the government plan. The protest was mostly safe considering only 5 people were injured and 20 arrested out of 150,000 protesters. The protesters are vast and persistent about fighting against corruption. The European Union commented on the government plan encouraging the government to not undo its progress towards ending corruption. Other countries globally have also responded to not only the government’s plan, but the Romanian people’s reaction as well. Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, Netherlands and the United States embassies released a joint statement regarding the issue. The statement read, “This act, in contravention to the collective wisdom of the entire judicial and rule of law community, credible elements of civil society, and the demonstrated concerns of Romanian citizens over the past two weeks, can only undermine Romania’s standing in the international community and risks damaging partnerships that are based on common values, inherent in the guiding principles of the EU and NATO.” The issue in Romania will continue develop and only time can tell how the problem is going to be solved. This current problem within Romania is a legal issue that the Romania government must figure out.
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Gillet, Kit. “Protesters in Romania Denounce Plan to Decriminalise Misconduct Offences.” The Guardian. Guardian News and Media, 01 Feb. 2017. Web. 03 Feb. 2017.