Ro­ma­ni­ans protest move to par­don cor­rup­tion

Cape Breton Post - - World -

BUCHAREST, Ro­ma­nia — More than 1,000 peo­ple gath­ered out­side Ro­ma­nia’s govern­ment of­fices Wed­nes­day to protest against a move by law­mak­ers to par­don acts of cor­rup­tion, months af­ter mas­sive anti-graft protests. Hun­dreds of demon­stra­tors waved Ro­ma­nian, NATO, Euro­pean Union and U.S. flags, yelling: “We have to de­fend the coun­try from thieves!” As num­bers grew, the crowd blocked Vic­tory Square where the govern­ment of­fices are. They protested shortly af­ter a par­lia­men­tary le­gal com­mit­tee ap­proved a draft that would grant an amnesty to peo­ple con­victed of bribery and in­flu­ence ped­dling. The move is a pre­lim­i­nary step be­fore a par­lia­men­tary vote. Law­mak­ers from the rul­ing So­cial Democ­racy Party dom­i­nate the com­mit­tee. How­ever, Prime Min­is­ter Sorin Grindeanu, a So­cial Demo­crat, said he did not sup­port the pro­posed changes, and Pres­i­dent Klaus Io­han­nis, who is not a mem­ber of any party, said he was “un­pleas­antly sur­prised” by the vote. Hun­dreds of thou­sands protested this win­ter af­ter the govern­ment in Jan­uary moved to de­crim­i­nal­ize of­fi­cial mis­con­duct. The govern­ment even­tu­ally scrapped the or­di­nance.

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