Romania Has Had Enough of Corruption

Romania protests news, Europe news, Latest European news, Romanians protests against corruption, Sorin Grindeanu news, Eastern Europe corruption news, Today’s news headlines, International political news, Romania news, fighting corruption

Bucharest, Romania © AGCreativeLab

February 20, 2017 10:34 EDT

Protests against abuse of power continue in Romania.

Eastern Europe is no stranger to government corruption, yet Romania seems to have reached its limit. When the newly-elected government of Prime Minister Sorin Grindeanu tried to pass an executive order that would decriminalize official corruption for sums under 200,000 lei (around $48,500)—more than six times the average salary in Romania—people took to the streets immediately.

Protests against the measure quickly grew into the largest public upheaval since the fall of the communist regime under Nicolae Ceausescu in 1989, with Reuters estimating at least half a million demonstrators across the country.

With the country’s chief prosecutor at the National Anticorruption Directorate currently leading a 220-strong team to investigate over 2,150 abuse of office cases amounting to a total of $1 billion, the people’s outrage against the decree is hardly surprising. Despite the withdrawal of the directive and the resignation of Justice Minister Florin Iordache, who was one of the architects of the executive order, the protests continue, calling for the resignation of Grindeanu’s cabinet.

On February 18, parents braved the cold to participate in the children’s protest on Bucharest’s Victory Square, and the following day thousands more continued to hold their vigil, now in its 20th consecutive day.

Having forced a government resignation in 2015, following a nightclub fire that killed 30, the power of the people is once again on the rise in Romania.

The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect Fair Observer’s editorial policy.

Photo Credit: Grosescu Alberto Mihai

Support Fair Observer

We rely on your support for our independence, diversity and quality.

For more than 10 years, Fair Observer has been free, fair and independent. No billionaire owns us, no advertisers control us. We are a reader-supported nonprofit. Unlike many other publications, we keep our content free for readers regardless of where they live or whether they can afford to pay. We have no paywalls and no ads.

In the post-truth era of fake news, echo chambers and filter bubbles, we publish a plurality of perspectives from around the world. Anyone can publish with us, but everyone goes through a rigorous editorial process. So, you get fact-checked, well-reasoned content instead of noise.

We publish 2,500+ voices from 90+ countries. We also conduct education and training programs on subjects ranging from digital media and journalism to writing and critical thinking. This doesn’t come cheap. Servers, editors, trainers and web developers cost money.
Please consider supporting us on a regular basis as a recurring donor or a sustaining member.

Will you support FO’s journalism?

We rely on your support for our independence, diversity and quality.

Donation Cycle

Donation Amount

The IRS recognizes Fair Observer as a section 501(c)(3) registered public charity (EIN: 46-4070943), enabling you to claim a tax deduction.

Make Sense of the World

Unique Insights from 2,500+ Contributors in 90+ Countries

Support Fair Observer

Support Fair Observer by becoming a sustaining member

Become a Member