Amazing. Something like 500,000 people in Romania took to the streets to protest a government decree to decriminalize certain levels of political corruption. Remember that Romania only has a population of about 20 million people, go a protest with half a million people in it is YUGE.
Sunday night’s demonstration in Bucharest was planned as the climax of the protest movement.
The government hoped that by scrapping the decree, calm would return to the streets of the country – but that hasn’t happened yet.
Many in the crowd don’t trust the government to keep to its word.
They are afraid that new legislation, promised by the prime minister when he abolished the decree, might contain some of the same elements in a different form.
The decree would have decriminalised abuse of power offences where sums of less than €44,000 (£38,000; $47,500) were involved.
Critics saw it as an attempt by the government to let off many of its own officials caught in an anti-corruption drive.
The government had argued that the changes were needed to reduce prison overcrowding and align certain laws with the constitution.
That last part is my favorite. The government is actually arguing that so many of them are corrupt that decriminalizing corruption was necessary to reduce prison overcrowding.