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Romania faces anti-corruption demonstrations

Neil Hodge | February 8, 2017

Sometimes, when governments try to exempt politicians and high-ranking officials from prosecution for taking backhanders and for sticking their fingers in the state coffers, the general public gets angry. And for some reason, when the Romanian government thought that this was a good idea to start the year off, ordinary people just didn’t get it.

In the early hours of 31 January the Romanian government introduced emergency legislation that would “amend” the country’s criminal code to decriminalise abuse in office by officials and introduce a law of pardon. Under the new legislation, pocketing anything less than U.S.$48,500 would be unworthy of jail time, especially when Romanian prisons are seemingly bursting.

Ordered without any input from parliament, the decree would have stopped all investigations for pending corruption offences, freed officials imprisoned for corruption, and blocked further investigations related to those offences from being brought to justice....

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