Feature 10 Nov 17

Anti-Corruption Protests Reveal Romania's Divisions

The protests in Romania against government policies have exposed a divide between the middle-class activists who resent corruption and a poorer class that still has faith in the old political class.

Ana Maria Touma
Romanian protesters in Bucharest on Sunday, November 5. Photo: Octav Ganea/Inquam Photos

On Wednesday, Oana Dobre Dimofte, 37, was back in front of the government building in Bucharest, along with hundreds of fellow protesters demonstrating against the unpopular fiscal code adopted by Romania’s Social Democrat-led government.

This reform, which transfers the burden of social contributions from employers to employees, is one of the main causes of the massive protests that have shaken Romania on and off since the year began.

But three days earlier, on Sunday, Dimofte, her husband and their four-year-old daughter joined some 35,000 people who took to the streets of different towns and cities for another reason.

They were protesting against the government's attempt to change the law on the work of judicial institutions, which many experts say will threaten their independence.

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