Romania: Romanian government decriminalizes some graft offences

Author(s): Luiza Ilie, Radu-Sorin Marinas | Date: February 1, 2017 | Language: English
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Romania’s top judicial watchdog announced a court challenge on Wednesday to a government decree decriminalizing some graft offences in what critics say is the biggest retreat on reforms since the country joined the European Union a decade ago. The decree, unveiled by the Social Democrat-led government of Prime Minister Sorin Grindeanu after it took power earlier this month, has drawn sharp criticism and triggered the biggest street protests since the fall of communism in Romania in 1989. More than 10,000 people took to the cold streets outside government headquarters in the capital, Bucharest, late on Tuesday after the government pushed through the move in a hastily-assembled cabinet session. Protesters gathered again on Wednesday, shouting “Rats!” Numbers were expected to grow in the evening.
If enforced, the decree would, among other things, decriminalize abuse-of-power offences in which the sums involved were less than 200,000 lei ($48,000).

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