Romanian government scrapped controversial decree

Romanian government scrapped controversial decreeRomanian government has revoked a controversial corruption decree, but the decision failed to stop protests as about 500,000 demonstrators have rallied across Romania, BBC said on Monday.

The left-wing government earlier scrapped the decree, which would have shielded many politicians from prosecution for corruption. The decision to repeal the decree was confirmed at an emergency government meeting in the capital Bucharest on Sunday.

But protesters remain dissatisfied about a revised version of the bill which will now be put to parliament. Some are calling for the government of PM Sorin Grindeanu to resign.

Protesters expressed concerns about the government's plans to redraft the law and send it for debate in parliament, where it could be forced through.

Recent days have seen Romania's largest protests since communism fell in 1989. Huge crowds swelled in the capital's Victory Square for the sixth day in a row.

The decree would have decriminalised abuse of power offences where sums of less than €44,000 ($47,500) were involved.The government had argued that the changes were needed to reduce prison overcrowding and align certain laws with the constitution.

But the critics saw it as an attempt by the government to let off many of its own officials caught in an anti-corruption drive.

One immediate beneficiary would have been Liviu Dragnea, who leads the governing Social Democratic Party and faces charges of defrauding the state of €24,000.

The decree was originally passed on Tuesday and was due to come into effect on 10 February.

The constitutional court has still to rule, later this week, on the legality of the original decree.
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