On the night of January 31st 2017 the Romanian government defiantly passed the ill-fated Ordinance 13, decriminalising certain instances of office misconduct, despite previous criticism from the public, the media and legal experts. People immediately took to the streets to protest both the document and the way in which it was adopted. “Like thieves in the night” became one of the main slogans of the protesters. The ordinance was seen as favouring a high number of corrupt officials either already sentenced or facing trial. Then, following five days of record-breaking protests across the country, the government agreed to withdraw it. However, the country is struggling in an atmosphere of social tensions and distrust of its elected leaders and the protests continue.
February 9, 2017 - Ioana Burtea