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The European Commission has accused Romania of failing to respect democratic values.

Its damning verdict on the state of the rule of law there follows the centre-left government’s move to impeach the president.

“Events in Romania have shaken our trust: challenging judicial decisions, undermining the Constitutional court, overturning established procedures and removing key checks and balances have called into question the government’s commitment to respect the rule of law”, said Jose Manuel Barroso, the president of the European Commission.

Prime Minister Victor Ponta moved to oust centre-right head of state, Traian Basescu, earlier this month, accusing him of blocking government policies.

Romania’s parliament, dominated by Ponta’s Social Liberal Union, voted to suspend Basescu on July 6th.

His impeachment will only be confirmed if approved by voters in a July 29th referendum.

A turnout of more than 50 percent is required for the result to be valid.

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