Romania: tens of thousands protest against corruption in Bucharest
Romanians living abroad called for the protest. Among other things, they criticize the government for obstructing the judiciary in the fight against corruption.
Tens of thousands of people protested corruption in the center of Bucharest. According to Romanian media, the participants in the rally called "Down with the government!" and "thieves!". The protest was directed against the social democratic government of the country.
The demonstrators denounced incompetence and corruption of the rulers. They accuse the government of efforts to weaken the judiciary in the fight against corruption. The Romanian news portal hotnews.ro estimated the number of participants at 25,000.
Romanians living abroad called for the protest. At a similar demonstration a year ago, the police responded with violence, injuring more than 400 protesters and 20 policemen.
The governing coalition in Bucharest is clearly weakened. In the European elections in May, she had lost many voters. The former leader of the Social Democratic Party (PSD), Liviu Dragnea, was imprisoned immediately before the European elections. He had embezzled payments by the EU Commission and provided party employees with state costs with jobs in the public sector apparatus. He had also passed laws that would quickly expose corruption cases. In a referendum on the day of the European elections, a majority of Romanians had advocated a stricter corruption law.
In mid-July, the head of government dismissed the country's foreign minister and interior minister. Reason were organizational problems in the European elections. For Romanians living abroad, who are considered particularly critical of the government, in many places not enough urns were provided. The bad image, which would have the two members of the government therefore in the population, should have been cause for the dismissal.
In Romania, there have been repeated demonstrations against the government since last year. Romania is considered one of the most corrupt countries in the EU and regularly criticized in Brussels.