Romania’s rezistance

Ana Adi and Darren Lilleker on the popular rising against corruption

The World Today Published 28 July 2017 Updated 23 November 2020 3 minute READ

Ana Adi

Professor of PR/Corporate Communications, Quadriga University of applied Sciences, Berlin

Darren G. Lilleker

Associate Professor of Political Communication, Bournemouth University

On the night of January 31, 2017 the four-week-old government of Social Democratic Prime Minister Sorin Grindeanu issued a decree that decriminalized corrupt activities valued at less than 200,000 lei, or £40,000. Implementation of Executive Ordinance No 13 would have resulted in many key political figures being released from prison or having charges dropped. Reaction on the street was immediate. An estimated 600,000 Romanians joined protests to oppose the measure until the government was forced to repeal it on February 13.

This did not end the protests. At the time of writing, they have spread to 81 cities in 36 countries, reflecting the expansion of the diaspora since Romania joined the European Union in 2007.

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