Anti-corruption protesters keep the pressure on Romanian government

Anti-corruption protesters keep the pressure on Romanian government
By bne IntelliNews May 8, 2017

A few hundred Romanians held a march in Bucharest on May 7 against the parliament’s plans to pass a bill on pardons, despite the rainy weather. The Senate, the upper chamber of the parliament, is expected to debate and vote on the draft bill on May 8.

Although much smaller in terms of participants than the mass protests earlier this year, the latest anti-corruption protests seem to be still putting pressure on politicians. In February, the government repealed a controversial emergency decree partly decriminalising abuse of office after the biggest protests in Romania since the fall of communism, with a peak of more than half a million people going out on the streets in just one evening.

This is the second protest organised in Bucharest in the past week. On May 3, around 1,000 people rallied in the Romanian capital after members of the Senate’s legal committee adopted amendments to the draft bill to grant amnesty to people sentenced for corruption. The next day, the senators reversed their decision and held another vote to reject the amendments.

On May 7, the protesters gathered in front of the government’s headquarters and marched to the parliament. People chanted slogans such as “We don’t want to be a people of thieves”, “Romania says no to pardon”, “Thieves”, “We can see you” and “Criminal parliament, go to prison”. 

There were some minor incidents as the police tried to prevent the crowds from marching on the street. As usual, the protesters carried EU and US flags, as a sign of respect to the international support received since the protests started.

“I am here again [at the protest] as I believe they are trying to fool us again. We don’t need to pardon anyone, they should build more prisons. They are complaining about the poor conditions in prisons, but often hospitals are worse than prisons. They should first address these issues: poor conditions in hospitals and poor access to education in rural areas. The bad conditions in prisons should be their last concern,” a protester told bne IntelliNews.

Prison overcrowding is the official reason given for the attempts to introduce pardons and weaken anti-corruption legislation. However, the moves will also benefit numerous politicians who have been sentenced or are under investigation in corruption cases. 

The event was organised on Facebook, under the name “No to pardoning corrupt people. OUG 13 [the emergency ordinance partly decriminalising abuse of office] is coming back. So are we.”

“We have to make them understand that when they vote in the parliament the amendments submitted by [senators] Serban Nicolae and Traian Basescu (which are in fact a revival of the emergency ordinance 13), our eyes will be on them. Some of them have the impression that if are not physically in front of them, we are not paying attention. Time has come we showed them they are not right,” according to the Facebook event page.

Last month, the Senate’s legal committee adopted another series of amendments, including pardons for sentences of less than three years (compared to five years in the draft bill). Also, according to the approved amendments, sentences of up to 10 years should be shortened by three years, while criminals older than 60 years should see their sentences halved, and those aged 70 or more should be pardoned, according to an earlier report from Hotnews.ro.

The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) instructed the Romanian government to provide, in cooperation with the committee of ministers, a precise timetable for the implementation of measures to reduce overcrowding in prisons and improve the material conditions of detention, according to the pilot judgement procedure applied by the court on April 25.

 

Related Articles

EU to fund feasibility study on Slovakia’s proposed Eastring gas link to Balkans

The EU has agreed to help fund a feasibility study on the Eastring pipeline project, which would link Slovakia to the Balkan markets, Slovak transmission system operator Eustream announced on May 26. ... more

IMF recommends fiscal consolidation for Romania

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has estimated that the fiscal policies envisaged by Romania will result in a wide deviation (of over 2% of GDP) from the optimum 1.5% of GDP medium-term budget ... more

Owner of Romania’s Dedeman reportedly close to signing largest ever deal in the Romanian office segment

Dragos Paval, owner of Romania’s biggest DIY retailer Dedeman, is reportedly close to signing an agreement with Africa Israel Investments for the acquisition of an office building project in ... more

Register here to continue reading this article and 2 more for free or purchase 12 months full website access including the bne Magazine for just $119/year.

Already a subscriber or registered - click here to recover access.

If you a IntelliNews Pro user - click here to login.

Thank you. Please complete your registration by confirming your email address.
A confirmation email has been sent to the email address you provided.

To continue viewing our content you need to complete the registration process.

Please look for an email that was sent to with the subject line "Confirmation bne IntelliNews access". This email will have instructions on how to complete registration process. Please check in your "Junk" folder in case this communication was misdirected in your email system.

Already a subscriber or registered - click here to recover access.

If you a IntelliNews Pro user - click here to login.

If you have any questions please contact us at sales@intellinews.com

Subscribe to bne IntelliNews website and magazine

Subscribe to bne IntelliNews website and monthly magazine, the leading source of business, economic and financial news and commentary in emerging markets.

Your subscription includes:
  • Full access to the bne content daily news and features on the website
  • Newsletters direct to your mailbox
  • Print and digital subscription to the monthly bne magazine
  • Digital subscription to the weekly bne newspaper

Already a subscriber or registered - click here to recover access.

If you a IntelliNews Pro user - click here to login.

bne IntelliNews
$119 per year

All prices are in US dollars net of applicable taxes.

If you have any questions please contact us at sales@intellinews.com

Register for free to read bne IntelliNews Magazine. You'll receive a free digital subscription.

Already a subscriber or registered - click here to recover access.

If you a IntelliNews Pro user - click here to login.

Thank you. Please complete your registration by confirming your email address.
A confirmation email has been sent to the email address you provided.

IntelliNews Pro offers daily news updates delivered to your inbox and in-depth data reports.
Get the emerging markets newswire that financial professionals trust.

"No day starts for my team without IntelliNews Pro" — UBS

Thank-you for requesting an IntelliNews Pro trial. Our team will be in contact with you shortly.

Dismiss