Pressured by the largest protests the country has seen since the fall of communism in 1989, the Romanian government repealed a corruption decriminalization decree over the weekend that would have benefited some politicians. But the late action to quell demonstrations after a week of protests in the capital, Bucharest and in others cities, was not sufficient to recall Romanians from the streets as many now demand the government resigns.
Prime Minister Sorin Grindeanu's Social Democratic Party(PSD), issued a decree last Tuesday that decriminalized some aspects of corruption including non-jail time for corruption involving less than $48,000. Romanian skeptics saw the new law as abetting corruption and specifically benefiting politicians and magistrates already convicted or facing trials for corruption, including the leader of the PSD, Liviu Dragnea, who was forced from power by protests in 2015, amid charges of defrauding the country. Protests involving more than 150,000 demonstrators ensued in Bucharest and in other cities across Romania last week.
The government, according to the BBC-News, scrapped the decree over the weekend with the intention of putting a revised version of the law before parliament. Fearing the retention of any parts of the law that would shield politicians from corruption prosecution, Romanians turned out more than 500,000 strong on Sunday night, in demonstrations at Victory Square and elsewhere across the country for a sixth day-in-a-row with many protesters calling upon the government to resign.
While the government cites prison overcrowding as a reason for the decriminalization draft law, Romanians remain suspect of corruption. Thus, Romanians have taken the lead in putting elected officials on notice worldwide that people are ready, willing and able to stand and to demand fairness, accountability and transparency in their governance.