Anti-Corruption Protests in Romania

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Hundreds of thousands in Romania are protesting a rollback of the country’s anti-corruption campaign. Demonstrations began after the passage of an emergency decree put forth by the country’s ruling Social-Democratic Party (PSD) that would prevent politicians from being prosecuted for some types of corruption offenses. The bill bypassed both parliamentary approval and that of Romanian President Klaus Iohannis, former leader of the opposition Liberal Party. The decree has been criticized as effectively decriminalizing government corruption, which has been rife in Romanian politics and subject to a years-long drive to eliminate. Massive and sustained protests in the Romanian capital of Bucharest have forced the government to announce that the legislation will be withdrawn, but protests continue, and President Iohannis has declared that the country is in a “political crisis”.