Hundreds Injured in Romanian Anticorruption Protests

Tuesday, 14 Aug, 2018

Violence has broken out in Bucharest, Romania, in the protests that have rallied 30,000 to 50,000 anti-government protesters tfrom across the country.

It ended in violence.

Numerous demonstrators are Romanian expats who have returned from across Europe to voice their anger at the government.

Riot police used tear gas and water cannon to maintain order. As a result of the collision 435 people were injured.

The military prosecutors have opened an investigation on Saturday morning into the Gendarmerie intervention against protesters on Friday. Resignation!' " the wire service writes.

They joined tens of thousands outside government headquarters in scorching temperatures, waving Romanian and European Union flags and demanding the cabinet's resignation.

Photos show protesters holding up glowing cellphone screens, which have become a symbol of anti-government and anti-corruption protests in Romania.

After Iohannis criticized the police response to Friday's demonstration, Prime Minister Viorica Dancila said Iohannis was "inciting the population against the authorities", AFP reported.

"Have no fear! Romanians will rise up!" they yelled.

The coalition government, led by the Social Democratic Party (PSD), has in the last few years approved a series of controversial measures that critics claim complicate the fight against corruption and have led to a series of mass demonstrations.

"An estimated 3 million Romanians live overseas, and some say they left because of corruption, low wages and a lack of opportunities".

In an open letter, Dragnea, who is seen as de facto head of the government, said his party and government would not bow to public pressure to resign. Dragnea was previously convicted of election fraud.

Romania, a country of 20 million which hosts a US ballistic missile defence station, remains among the poorest and most corrupt members of the EU.

Earlier Saturday, Romanian riot police defended their use of force at Friday night protest in which 70 people, including 11 riot police, had to be taken to the hospital.

Protests in Bucharest turned violent, with Euronews videos showing riot police officers beating demonstrators into the ground.

Peaceful protests have repeatedly been held since the Social Democrats took power in early 2017 and tried to decriminalize several corruption offences.

The demonstrations stem from some Romanians' long-standing frustrations with the ruling Social Democrats (PSD).