Romanian judicial reform clears first hurdle

With the votes of the Social Democratic and liberal ruling parties the Romanian House of Deputies has approved a controversial judicial reform. The EU has criticised the amendments for endangering the independence of the judges and giving corrupt parliamentarians immunity from prosecution. The vote in the Senate is scheduled for next week. Romania's media are already incensed.

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Ziare (RO) / 14 December 2017

Opposition being made redundant

Ziare is incensed by the fact that the governing parties were able to prevent the opposition from tabling any amendments by appealing to procedural rules:

“Yes, the majority decides - that's the very basis of democracy. Yet an equally important rule maintains that the minority may at least say what it has to say, because it too - whether small or large, weak or powerful - represents a certain number of votes and a voter base that has the right to be respected. The problem is not only that the PSD-Alde majority is enforcing its will on parliament - it would have managed to do that somehow in any event. But it is also establishing an authentic dictatorship and liquidating the opposition. From now on the opposition's presence is redundant - at least in parliament.”

Hotnews (RO) / 14 December 2017

Romania now a hell for honest folk

The legal amendments make a mockery of the investigators' work, Hotnews rails:

“The PSD and Alde are behind the bold idea that the prosecutors may no longer continue their investigations and take steps to catch suspects red-handed unless the suspect knows he is being in investigated. In other words: all of the evidence obtained is null and void. ... The head of the DNA [anti-corruption authority], Laura Codruta Kovesi, presented as an example a director of an institute who has accepted a bribe, and, because someone has snitched on him, now learns that he is under investigation: 'Just imagine what it's like calling someone who demanded bribe money. What are we supposed to investigate? ... The winners in this whole affair are the politicians. ... We, however, are the big losers. The paradise for criminals is the honest people's hell.”

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