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news 26 Nov 17

Thousands of Romanians Protest Against Justice Changes

More than 45,000 Romanians protested in Bucharest on Sunday against government plans to introduce legislation that they say will weaken the fight against corruption.

Madalin Necsutu, Ana Maria Luca
BIRN
Bucharest
 Romanians protested against the justice law. BIRN/Ana Maria Luca.

Tens of thousands of Romanians gathered on Sunday in Bucharest and in other towns and cities to demand the withdrawal of justice-related laws that will give more power to politicians over judiciary system.

Over 42 civic groups and non-governmental organizations, as well as the most powerful unions, asked people to attend the rallies to protest against the proposals.

They also seek the redrawing of new tax legislation and the resignation of the government and of the presidents of the Chamber of Deputies and the Senate.

The protesters marched from the government building on Boulevard Lascar Catargiu towards Palace of Parliament, on the way encountering small incidents with police on horseback.

 BIRN/Ana Maria Luca.

The protest on Sunday came after the ruling Social Democrat-led government survived its first impeachment motion in parliament on Thursday.

On Thursday, around 2,000 opposition supporters gathered in front of parliament to protest against the ruling party and support the impeachment vote as drivers circled the building, waving Romanian and European Union flags.

Civil society and trade union activists have been protesting since the beginning of the year against moves by the party to curb the fight against corruption.

Thew unions are especially unhappy with the recently adopted fiscal code that has transferred the cost of social contributions from employers to employees, potentially reducing workers' net wages.

NGOs are also angered after the Senate on Monday passed a bill obliging them to declare their donors every six months. 

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