Protests in Romania
There’s a lot of worrying things happening in many EU member states. I’ve been ignoring it all. Partly because I like to ignore bad news. And partly because of Brexit. I feel a certain reluctance to talk about things that didn’t show the union in a good light. But this post is about the protests in Romania. And above all showing solidarity with the protestors.
I don’t know enough to comment on the situation in Romania myself. So I’m just going to add some videos here. And hopefully they will properly explain the situation.
Above all I just want to applaud the Romanian people for their protests.
What’s happening in Romania?
The PSD is the governing party in Romania. Liviu Dragnea is the head of the party. But he cannot be Prime Minister. Because of a conviction for ballot-rigging. That conviction led to a two-year suspended prison sentence. He also faces charges of abuse of office and of defrauding the state of €24,000.
The protest of February 2017
Over two weeks of huge daily protests were mounted by the Romanian people. They were against proposed legislation. The proposed laws would, among other things, decriminalise bribery. If the money involved was less than €44,000.
euronews – Very brief run through of what led to the protests & comments by protestors themselves
euronews – President Klaus Iohannis. Criticising the government’s attempts to decriminalise bribery and facilitate corruption
Al Jazeera English – A more in-depth look at the situation
The Guardian – The government withdrew the controversial legislation following the massive protests.
Protest of May 2017
The government tried to pass legislation to give pardons to politicians convicted on charges of corruption. The people protested and the legislation was blocked.
MSNBC – Brief run through of the situation, Romania bit finishes at 7:30
Article in the NYT about the proposed measures being dropped.
November 2017 & onwards
The government proposes laws that many see as giving politicians undue power over the judiciary and the anti-corruption agency, DNA.
The government’s opponents claim that under the draft laws now being considered in parliament, the powers of the respected anti-corruption directorate, the DNA, would be reduced, with the justice ministry able to name head prosecutors.
The judicial inspection body that investigates the work of judges would also come under the control of the minister of justice. A new structure staffed by prosecutors is being devised to investigate criminal acts committed by magistrates.
Reuters | Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty – People take to the streets in protest
euronews – Romania’s lower house approves controversial judicial reforms
euronews – Romanian judges protest over government-backed legal reforms
The Protests of January 2018
In November the government brought in new laws which many argue destroy the separation of powers. Moreover, another questionable bill is now on the table. Critics say it would lead to the case of abuse of office against Liviu Dragnea being dropped.
The people are once more taking to the streets in these freezing temperatures to protest. And there are protests planned for today.
Jan 20, 2018
Here’s a link to a euronews report on today’s protest. One of the protestors explains that Liviu Dragnea, while certainly part of the problem, isn’t the sole concern. It’s more a case of a group of people in power who don’t seem to have respect for the rule of law. And are doing all they can to undermine it.
As I said above, I don’t know enough about the situation to comment myself. But I wanted to highlight what’s going on. Because it’s one way of making myself informed.
Also, in Europe, and everywhere we the people need to show more solidarity with each other.
Politics aside, I haven’t been to Romania yet. And I really want to go. I’ve heard it’s gorgeous.
And here is a video from TheLifeofJord about his experience of living in Bucharest, the capital of Romania.
Maybe I could get some recipes from there to try out here? Oh, I like the sound of that.