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Romania parliament backs anti-corruption referendum

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Romania parliament backs anti-corruption referendum
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Romania’s parliament on Monday unanimously endorsed a presidential proposal for a nationwide referendum to get public support for the fight against corruption.

There is no time-frame yet and MPs’ backing for the plan is not binding.

But it does send a strong message, amid the largest display of popular anger since the fall of communism.

Rallies over the last two weeks forced the new Social Democrat government to rescind a decree watering down anti-corruption laws, which would have effectively shielded dozens of public officials from prosecution.

Romania protests: what they are saying

Romanian Prime Minister Sorin Grindeanu said the decree was rescinded in the interests of social unity.

But parliament, where the ruling coalition holds a big majority, still has to vote on whether to confirm the decree’s withdrawal.

As a result, demonstrators continue to pour onto the streets of Bucharest.