Romania: Stage victory in fight against corruption

The citizens' fight against corruption in Romania continues. Hundreds of people once again took to the streets on Wednesday - and achieved a stage victory: the Senate's legal committee withdrew its support for a draft law for an amnesty that would have seen people convicted of corruption released from prison. But Romanian journalists explain that the people haven't won the battle yet.

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Hotnews (RO) /

Parliament won't give up

Hotnews doesn't trust the parliament and calls for more demonstrations:

“The parliament is using its own tactic: it is raising the stakes to finally get what it really wants. ... If we don't force the parliamentarians to take the law off the agenda we may face another horrendous decision at any moment, as happened on Wednesday with the legal committee. This parliament has so far failed to prove that it wants to resolve the issue of the amnesty law in good faith. On the contrary, the parliamentarians have made it clear to all that they still want to get their political colleagues out of prison. To avoid such difficulties, as many people as possible should take to the streets in protest. Otherwise the parliamentarians will put their amnesty plans into practice as planned by simply resorting to various diversionary tactics.”

Ziare (RO) /

Romania at risk of being isolated

If Romania fails in the fight against corruption it will be left still more isolated within the EU, Ziare fears:

“The leader of the Social Democratic Party (PSD) and president of the Chamber of Deputies, Liviu Dragnea, is fighting for his political survival [and to escape a prison sentence in an ongoing court case], but he won't succeed. Because Romania can't dispense with its anti-corruption laws without being left isolated within the EU. Look at what is happening with the populist Hungarian leader Viktor Orbán, how his authority is starting to crumble under pressure from Brussels. And Hungary has a stronger economy than Romania and was a model of democracy for the central and eastern European countries in the early 1990s. … Dragnea and others are caught between the hammer and the anvil. Without the EU funds they wouldn't survive another day politically. But the fear of a prison sentence is preventing them from turning their state of thieves into a country where the law comes first.”