With so much noise surrounding everything Trump, most people haven’t even noticed that massive protests are going on right now in Romania.
The public outcries by the citizens of the small nation are becoming louder by the day as they take to the streets to protest the country’s corrupt government, a reputation Romania now has among other European Union members.
1. What happened in Romania to spark the protests?
Last Tuesday, the newly selected Romanian prime minister Sorin Grindeanu passed a decree that would protect corrupt politicians from being prosecuted and would decriminalize any abuses of power that fall under $47,500 American dollars.
Grindeanu decided to pass the decree without the consent of parliament or the people. Thousands of citizens responded by hitting the streets to protest the decision because it would allow political criminals to go free from jail. According to media reports, 24 hours after the regulation was first passed, over 250,000 people went to the streets to protest the decision and over the weekend the “anti-corruption” protests gained momentum and escalated to roughly 500,000 people.
Anti-corruption protests in the Romanian capital Bucharest continue. Tonight: pic.twitter.com/86DeFmSTgh
— Rosie Scammell (@rosiescammell) February 5, 2017
2. Who is against the decree?
Romanian citizens and world powers like the United States are standing against the decree because it would allow members of the prime minister’s party, the Social Democratic Party (PSD) to go free from prison without being forced to serve out their sentences or face financial penalties. The main member the Romanian PM is most likely trying to help escape fraud charges is the PSD president, Liviu Dragnea.
— HalepBand (@HalepBand) February 1, 2017
Reuters reported in 2015 that Dragnea was convicted of vote-rigging in 2012, an action that prohibits him from participating in politics in the future under current Romanian law.
3. What is the prime minister doing about it?
The prime minster has attempted to calm the protesters this past weekend by abandoning the emergency decree. A strategy that is quite different than his original one, where he reportedly told reporters that he would “push ahead” with it.
Having won on anti-corruption, the Romanian people aren't backing down, want the government out. Bucharest now: pic.twitter.com/nPYqWoWVdc
— ian bremmer (@ianbremmer) February 5, 2017
4. So why are people still protesting?
On Wednesday the protests entered its seventh day and are continuing in the capital city of Bucharest for a couple of different reasons, according to news reports. Most citizens don’t believe the emergency decree was actually repealed while others are begging for political reform and the resignation of Grindeanu, so they continue protesting.
— The New York Times (@nytimes) February 6, 2017
5. What are the protests like?
They have reportedly been peaceful and include people of all ages.
— Paul Ivan (@paul2ivan) February 5, 2017