Some 50,000 people joined a new evening of anti-government protests in Bucharest on Saturday, a day after riot police forces violently ended a similar demonstration organised by Romanians working abroad. This time around, the protest was peaceful with no major incident, despite authorities failing to provide proper explanations for the way they used violence against harmless protesters a night before.
HotNews.ro journalist Robert Mihailescu was kicked and punched by gendarmes during violent incidents on the margins on a major anti-government protest in Bucharest on Friday. He was attacked after the riot police launched an intervention against protesters, when people on social media said - with video proof - that peaceful demonstrators were hit by police forces without justification.
Riot police used tear gas and a water cannon against peaceful protesters including women, children and elderly people on Friday night as some 100,000 people joined a protest in Bucharest against the current government led by the Social Democratic Party (PSD). Gendarmes showed up with water cannons and mounted police and, while appearing not to have used them by late in the evening, it resorted to an unprecedented level of force against the people, while a limited number of protesters threw various objects at them.
Major protests are expected to take place in Bucharest and other major cities across Romania on Friday evening as the Diaspora has been organising a massive "return home" for demonstrations against the policies promoted by the Social Democratic Party (PSD) -led government. Facebook pages put up for the occasion suggest the protests will be massive, with tens of thousands of people announcing their participation.
The governing coalition in Romania concludes an extended parliamentary session this week with a wave of controversies related to legislation passed by their MPs and government. After marathon efforts to change the laws of justice, the coalition now has to cope with question marks about its competence and predictibility, with feelings of incredulity among observers about economy- and social-related plans and decisions of the Social Democratic Party (PSD)-led government.
Romania's prosecutor general Augustin Lazar said on Thursday that the fight against corruption in the country would continue in a strong manner as an interim head took over at the helm at the main body involved in fighting graft, the National Anti-Corruption Directorate (DNA). New DNA head Anca Jurma took over following the departure of Laura Codruta Kovesi, who was dismissed by the president as a result of political struggles earlier this week. Kovesi would not leave far, however, as she was poised to take another DNA-related job.
Romania reported results in three major objectives it had at the NATO summit this week, President Iohannis said as the Brussels summit ended on Thursday: a command center, upgrading a multinational brigade and a whole session on Black Sea issues. Iohannis also said President Trump did not initiate a conflict but "called things by their name" at the summit.