On Sunday, the government of Romania scrapped the corruption bill which caused so many days of protests in the capital city of Bucharest and in any other cities. The law was supposed to protect some politicians from being prosecuted for corruption. The government announced the decision after an Emergency Meeting and after Prime Minister Sorin Grindeanu spoke on television. However, it seems like things are not calming down at all. On the contrary, actually. The Romanians gathered on Sunday evening in the biggest protests since the fall of Communism in 1989.
The sixth day of protests
It was the sixth straight day of protests. Protesters gathered in many cities of Romania, but the Victory Square in Bucharest was by far the most important spot in the country. Many pictures showing hundreds of thousands of Romanians with their cell phone lights on, pointing them at the sky simultaneously filled the Internet. Soon, the capital became illuminated. The people sang the national anthem and kept completely silent for five minutes, in the memory of the heroes fallen during the 1989 revolution which ended the reign of the communist leader Nicolae Ceausescu.
The Romanian Prime Minister said on Sunday that the bill was not communicated well to the general public. The Justice Minister reportedly took the entire blame. Grindeanu’s wish was to not “divide Romania”. In his national address, he said that at this point, the country is torn apart and things might become even worse. Nobody wanted that, so they decided to scrap the bill.
Europe is concerned
However, the controversy of the bill expanded over the borders of Romania. European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker was one of the people who expressed their concern. He said that countries need to fight against corruption, not promote it. The embassies of Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, the Netherlands and the United States joined him. The Minister of Justice will reportedly work on a new law which will deal with those issues. It will be completely constitutional and aligned with the requests of the European Commission.
This controversial bill said that any corruption act with damage less than 200,000 lei ($48,000) was from then on decriminalized. The main issue of the people was that the law would have given the freedom back to some politicians who are now behind bars because of acts corruption. Moreover, it would have stopped any corruption investigation and prevent any other such investigation from happening. Even the president of the Social Democrat Party, Liviu Dragnea, would have been a beneficiary of this law. He once received a two-year suspended sentence for elections offense. He is now currently under investigation for some allegations of abuse of power.
According to many, the people of Romania were right to step in. They showed that the street is powerful and that they will not defeat it. The solidarity and union of the Romanians impressed the entire world. Many people from foreign countries stood with them, even if it was not their country. The protests are going to continue because the people now want the Government to step down. According to them, their credibility is now almost null.
Image source: here