Romania to withdraw controversial corruption decree

Romanian PM says to hold extraordinary meeting Sunday to repeal the decree

Romania to withdraw controversial corruption decree

World Bulletin / News Desk

Romanian Prime Minister Sorin Grindeanu said Saturday he will cancel a decree decriminalizing some corruption offences following nationwide mass protests.

"We’ll hold an extraordinary meeting tomorrow to repeal the decree, cancel it," he said during a press conference in the government building in capital Bucharest.

"I don't wish to divide Romania. Romania cannot be broken in half," he added.

The emergency decree adopted late Tuesday decriminalizes graft cases in which the damages are under 200,000 lei ($47,800).

The move, which came a month after the Social Democrat-led government of Prime Minister Sorin Grindeanu came to power, triggered widespread protests across the country, which are considered to be the largest demonstrations since the fall of communism in 1989.

On Wednesday, eight protesters were wounded, and 20 others arrested during a clash with police in the capital, Bucharest.

In a letter sent to European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker on Wednesday, Prime Minister Grindeanu explained why his cabinet passed the controversial decree and a draft bill which includes prison pardons for several offenses.

The government was defending the decree on the grounds that it will ease overcrowding of prisons, and align criminal law with recent rulings of the Constitutional Court.

The protesters, on the other hand, claimed that the decree would harm Romania's fight against corruption.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 05 Şubat 2017, 00:50