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Romanian minister quits over government corruption stance

Romanian minister quits over government corruption stance
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By Alasdair Sandford with Reuters, Romania-Insider
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*NB: an updated version of Thursday’s events in Romania is available here.

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*NB: an updated version of Thursday’s events in Romania is available here.*

A Romanian minister has said he is resigning in protest at the social democratic government’s stance on corruption.

It comes after some of the biggest demonstrations since the 1989 revolution that brought down communism.

There’s widespread anger over an emergency decree decriminalising corruption offences below a certain amount.

Announcing his resignation, the Business Environment Minister Florin Jianu said on his Facebook page (in Romanian) that he intended to quit because he didn’t want to have to tell his child that he was a coward and agreed to something he didn’t believe in.

Since the government was sworn in last month, its apparent retreat on reforms has caused widespread alarm.

The decree has provoked a no-confidence motion from opposition parties, a court challenge from the top judicial watchdog and a warning from the EU Commission. Several countries have written a letter expressing deep concern.

“This is not about #Romania or #Romanians. This is about the corrupt few trying to circumvent the rule of law” – #EPlenary#romaniaprotest

— Roberta Metsola MEP (@RobertaMetsola) February 2, 2017

Across Romania, the decree also brought hundreds of thousands of people onto the streets on Wednesday night – furious at the measure that will protect many politicians from corruption allegations.

Bucharest tonight.
Part of Victory square & Victory street.#romaniaprotestpic.twitter.com/Eqs28lXfGC

— Beba Kron (@BebaKron) February 1, 2017

In Bucharest the protest ended in clashes between police and a minority of protesters some described as football hooligans.

Over a quarter of a million people took part in #romaniaprotest – one of the largest seen against the government https://t.co/fGVch99s39

— alex wheeler (@AlexWhee1er) February 2, 2017

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