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Western states concerned over Romanian government decree

Western states concerned over Romanian government decree

"We, Romania's global partners and allies, express our profound concern at the actions of the Romanian government on the night of January 31, 2017, which have undermined Romania's progress on rule of law and the fight against corruption over the past 10 years".

At the same time, the Swedish Embassy in Bucharest voices concern with the recent changes in the Justice area.

Demonstrators in Romania geared up for more protests Friday over what they see as a worrying backsliding in the fight against corruption, as the political crisis showed no sign of easing.

Protesters in Bucharest chanted "Resign" and "Thieves, thieves".

Critics believe the law, which will decriminalise cases of official misconduct in public office in which the damages are valued at less than 200,000 leu (£37,000), will benefit members of the government - led by the Social Democratic party, which was elected in November - some of whom are now under investigation for fraud.

Romania's Ombudsman Victor Ciorbea filed a complaint to the Constitutional Court against the government for issuing an emergency decree without having a valid reason. Its chief prosecutor, Laura Kovesi, claims that the new law could affect one in three of these.

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Local media said the violent protesters were football supporters and the majority of people taking to the streets were peaceful. "It just is not anything secret, illegal or immoral character of that order and I will explain this with counter-arguments to arguments circulated on social networks".

The Commission warns against backtracking and "will look thoroughly" at the emergency ordinance on the Criminal Code and the Law on Pardons in this light. Dragnea also called Iohannis "the moral author" of the sporadic violence that broke out late Wednesday between police and protesters.

The newest law is about prisoners and how they shouldn't spend more than five years imprisoned. "We must make a stand at an institutional level". "We're aiming for the second one".

Protesters have vowed to take to the streets on Thursday.

Unlike the previous two days, the combined number of people protesting in cities other than Bucharest were more numerous.

Leaders of the centre-left Social Democratic Party and the junior Alliance of Democratic Liberals are now facing corruption charges that bar them serving as ministers. These law changes would result in Liviu Dragnea, the head of the PSD (the major Socialist party and main member of the governing coalition), being cleared of his suspended two-year sentence for vote-rigging in 2012, and consequently in him being able to legally occupy the prime minister's seat, now held by his ally Sorin Grindeanu.


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