Romanian protesters refuse to back down after decree repeal

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Romanian protesters refuse to back down after decree repeal

The Romanian government has withdrawn a decree to decriminalize corruption for offenses under $48,000.

The decree had sparked the biggest protests in the Eastern European country since the overthrow of Communist leader Nicolae Ceausescu back in 1989. Observers estimate that crowds are reaching several hundreds of thousands and protesters have now expanded their demands to government resignation.

CGTN’s Aljosa Milenkovic reports.

Romanian protesters refuse to back down after decree repeal

Romanian protesters refuse to back down after decree repeal

The Romanian government has withdrawn a decree to decriminalize corruption for offenses under $48,000. The decree had sparked the biggest protests in the Eastern European country since the overthrow of Communist leader Nicolae Ceausescu back in 1989. Observers estimate that crowds are reaching several hundreds of thousands, and protesters have now expanded their demands to government resignation. CGTN correspondent Aljosa Milenkovic.
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Protests still continued at the famous Victoria Square in central Bucharest, going into their sixth consecutive night. But unlike previous nights, police have kept a low profile and no major incidents were recorded.

More than 100,000 came to celebrate the government back down from the corruption decriminalization decree, and to state new demands.

Protesters think that there is a link between the decree and ongoing charges against the leader of the ruling Social Democratic Party.

And the fact that it had been an emergency decree further fueled anger, with the first night of protests last Tuesday ending in clashes with police.

Protests in Bucharest have sent strong shockwaves across the region because Romania does not have a monopoly on corruption. Everybody around the region is watching Bucharest to see how this is going to end.

In neighboring Bulgaria, several hundreds of protesters gathered in front of the Romanian Embassy in Sofia in support of those at Victoria Square.

The calls for the government to resign has raised the stakes in the Romanian political standoff.


Jacob Kirkegaard discusses Romanian protests

To discuss the current unrest in Romania and what has led to the growing protests, CGTN’s Owen Fairclough spoke to Jacob Kirkegaard, senior fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics.