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A Romanian Reality of Eroding Confidence in Governance

One of the largest ever anti-government protests in Bucharest, Romanian, was staged last night, as Romanians took to the streets against a decree that could decriminalize some levels of corruption. 

As reported by the BBC-News, some 150,000 protesters marched on government offices in the capital and  many more marched in other Romanian cities to protest the government action that decriminalizes several offenses and makes abuse of power punishable by incarceration only if the money involved is more than $48,000. 

The Romanian government responsible for the new decree, is led by Prime Minister Sorin Grindeanu of the Social Democratic Party(PSD), which only returned to power in December after protests forced its last leader, Liviu Dragnea, from power in October 2015, the BBC-News revealed.

The new emergency decree, which the government claims is needed to relieve prison over-crowding, would immediately benefit the PSD leader, Dragnea, who faces charges of defrauding the country of less than $48,000. Elected officials and members of the judiciary are also due to be freed from jail under the new decree.

Passed on Tuesday, the decree prompted a warning to Romania from the European Union(EU) against "backtracking" in its efforts to beat corruption. European Commission leader, Jean-Claude Juncker, said:"The fight against corruption needs to be advanced, not undone".

Some protesters allegedly threw smoke bombs, stones and firecrackers at police, who responded with tear gas. The protest forced business and entrepreneurship minister Florin Jinau to resign earlier today saying he did not want to look like a coward in his son's eyes.

Romania's protest underscores the reality of lost trust and confidence in governance - events that could be repeated often during the next four years from Europe to the Americas to Asia and to Africa.