romanian-protestsPresident Trump isn’t the only leader who’s had a rocky start in government. The Romanian Prime Minister, Sorin Grindeanu, has only been in place since 4 January 2017 and he’s already seen hundreds of thousands of protesters fill the streets in the largest mass demonstrations since the fall of Communism in 1989.

Prime Minister Grindeanu’s Social Democratic Party came first in parliamentary elections in 2016, taking 45% of the vote and managing to cobble together a coalition with the liberal ALDE party, who received roughly 5%. Turnout was fairly low in the election, at just 39%.

However, days after the government was sworn into office, protests began over legislation proposed by the Ministry of Justice that would have made abuse of power only criminally punishable if the sums involved exceeded 200,000 lei (€44,200).

Critics argue that this amounted to the decriminalisation of government corruption. They see it as a cynical attempt to protect hundreds of Romanian politicians facing criminal investigations and jail. However, supporters of the controversial decree argued that the judiciary in Romania is too political, and has been working with the National Anti-Corruption Directorate (DNA) to unfairly target the government.

Under intense pressure from the protesters, the government has agreed to back down and withdraw the proposed decree. It’s unclear what the next step will be, as many demonstrators are now demanding the government resign. The President of Romania, Klaus Iohannis (who comes from the opposition National Liberal Party), has called for a referendum on anti-corruption measures – but the question of the referendum has not yet been revealed.

Should the Romanian government resign? Has the government lost the trust of the people? Let us know your thoughts and comments in the form below and we’ll take them to policymakers and experts for their reactions!

IMAGE CREDITS: CC / Flickr – Paul Arne Wagner

138 comments Post a commentcomment

What do YOU think?

  1. Ivan Burrows


    It was democratically elected so why should it resign ?, if every government resigned because there was a protect against it there would never be a functioning government again.

    It’s beginning to look like the EU is about to get its first civil war.

    • Raluca Ra

      Riiight, it’s just that we don’t elect the Gov in this country. They are appointed, not elected. And the winnig party only got 15% of votes, which is not really a blank check for them to do whatever abuse comes to mind. Also not sure how anyone could support measures that break the rule of law and are aimed at advancing endemic corruption.

    • Cris Hova

      Ivan Burrows You don„t get why the people are still protesting. We do not want the winning party to step down, we just want a new government formed by people from this party that have no penal indictment and do not want to change the laws so that corruption could be legalized. The problem is that this party don„t have these kind of people….

    • Victor

      “Civil war”? I would like to see where you get that idea from.

      How about a government that openly supports its own corruption? Can that be considered a functioning government?

      By the way, the percentage of protesters is about 3 percent of the population (this taking the official numbers and not that of people actually ressiding in the country right now). By comparison, in the UK, this would be a protest of around 2 million – out on the same day, in around 10 cities. Would that also be just another protest the government should ignore?

    • Marian Rodu

      We’ve had plenty of governments come and go during the same Parliament legislatures for various reasons, so why is this one so special that it needs to stay against all odds despite having shown itself to be working in bad faith and incompetently. This government should be dissolved and the current Parliament should try creating a new one. That’s all there is to it.

    • Cris Hova

      Ivan Burrows you are describing ti different things! First of all, the protests in Romania were not violent at all! There was even a Saturday protest with kids. Second, Romania is part of the European Union, not like Kiev. Third, after the Russian have taken Crimeea (by force) I guess that Ukranians have all the reasons to protest.

    • Marian Rodu

      Also If the current Parliament is unable to give us a government that works in good faith and for the promises it gave during the elections THEN it is clear to all that new elections are necessary.

    • Ivan Burrows

      Marian Rodu

      Because this time it is very different, mob rule means you are on the verge of political collapse with the violence that goes with it waiting for you just around the corner.

    • Pirvulescu Florin

      Ivan Burrows
      I suggest you take care of you little Englander problems.

      The government of Romania must go. They have tried to put a cap on how much you can steal from the state !

      Governments in Romania, like ALL governments of the entire world, ARE named, not elected.

      The next government will be from the same party that has won the parliamentary elections but this one has to go !

    • Ivan Burrows

      Pirvulescu Florin (troll)

      I got as far as your insult and stopped reading comrade.

      Enjoy your civil war.

    • Marian Rodu

      Ivan Burrows (troll) You’re are clearly talking out of your ass. You don’t have a grasp of the situation at all, in Romania, in Europe or the World.

    • Adriana Miron

      A non-romanian talking about romanian gouverment .. lok

    • Ivan Burrows

      Adriana Miron

      Are only Romanians allowed to comment of the mess the country is in ?

      If so kindly stop using my language & only use your own.

    • Adriana Miron

      Ivan Burrows, let it go dude. Your arguments are overrated. The rule of was in 1989 too, but that didn’t mean we had to obey the state. In a democracy people have power, and they have equal rights provided by Consitution to protest peacefully

    • Vlad Gabriel

      Ivan, an englander and brexiter (and with a russian name) – this world must be a terrible place for you to live in…

    • Andrei Zaulet

      Ivan you dont have any ideea about whats happening there there cant be a civil war lets see how you get enough weapons in roumania to fight your are such an idiot and stop saying civil war ffs you dont know anything the protests arent violent

    • Adrian

      Ivan Burrows is a UKIP troll he doesn’t offer solutions he just wants to see Europe in chaos.

    • Pirvulescu Florin

      Ivan Burrows
      You obviously don`t know a damn thing about what is happening in Romania, keep to your little englander problems.

    • Costin Halaicu

      Parliament is democratically elected, not the government. If the government resigns, it doesn’t change the parliament in any way. They are free to nominate a new prime minister from the majority (if it still stands), and proceed to govern with better judgement.

    • Mihai Munteanu

      The government was not elected, it was appointed by the elected party. They have proven that they can not be trusted (read in detail about the whole legislation debacle) and they should resign. The PSD should nominate a new PM and a new cabinet, someone who knows what governing means.

    • Sorin-Iulian Florut

      Same as a flock of sheep! If so many people say you should kill yourself, then yes, as well?

    • Loredana Lovaszi

      If so many people think so it may be democratic. Seeing as people you vote for don’t often do what they promise.

  2. Bobi Dochev

    Why? As we sow it in US, some organizations paid for protests – is this the democracy?! Yes, they had right to protest over the low, but it was annulled. Why should 20 million Rumanian be hostages of 10, 20 or even 50 000 protesters?
    We had same situation few years ago, a bunch of well paid protesters bring the legally elected government down with the outside support of EU and US. Probably after few months we going to see it again.
    This is why I constantly moaning about the rights to organize referendums – but the “democrats” all over Europe are afraid of peoples vote.

    • Pirvulescu Florin

      Because the presence at the voting booth was at 39,5% and the leading coalition barely has 20% of the votes of all Romanians eligible to vote.

      With barely 20% of the vote of all Romanians that could vote they proceeded to put cap of 45.000 Euros of how much you can steal before you are prosecuted.

      They have won the elections to GOVERN Romania, not to legalise stealing !

      Oh, and we, the protesters managed to have a huge rally of 600.000, for a 19 mil country that is huge !

    • Bobi Dochev

      Pirvulescu Florin But the law was annulled – right?! And I admire your position about the law and congratulates you for the success.. BUT

      even 600 k protesters (and this number is arguable), this was the amount of people which protest against the Law – now much less people protest against the government. The government was established after the entire population vote!

      Even with 20% representativeness this is how the democracy works – you should ask everyone and those who take the biggest percentage win – not the ideal formula but there isn’t anything better!
      There will always be a group of people that are not happy with their government (in US it is 50:50 now) but there is a winner and you should respect that.

      You have the right to protest against certain decisions of your government, and keep eye on what they do, but I don’t think even 600 k people have the right to dictate the agenda of whole country.

    • Andrei Zaulet

      In roumania were 320k and i didnt went to the protests but really to steal 45k euros legaly? I dont think so and i support the protests i wonder how many idiots voted for this governement..

    • Sorin-Iulian Florut

      Pirvulescu Florin , why haven`t more come and vote? Nobody forced them to stay home. Democracy is vote and majority, even when from 1000000 voters come to vote 3 and 2 of them say yes and the third says no. If they are lazy enough to go and vote, then they should mind their own business in less than 2 months since the last elections.

  3. Cris Hova

    the winning party/ government considers the protests as handled by “occult forces” such as multinational companies and Soros. They deny all the complains of the people in the street and treat with arrogance anything related to the changes of the penal code.

    • Sorin-Iulian Florut

      And some of them are handled indeed. The people in the street are those who lost the last elections but they don`t accept that, pretending they are fighting for something that government really does itself. On the other hand, the ignorant protesters, who claimed the ordinances /decrees were wrong, find out now they had been misinformed! Government tried to reincriminate the abuse of power that was unincriminated last august for having been unconstitutional, and the protesters forced the government to let abuse of power unincrminated! So, what were those people protesting against? Against their own claimings! This means to be an idiot! Flock of sheep motivated by hate against the winning parties in last elections (PSD – ALDE) came to protest and got exactly the opposite of what they asked for! Is “stupid” enough to describe the result of their protests?

    • Cris Hova

      Sorin-Iulian Florut I guess you don`t really understand the issues that the protesters really have. Also, you are absolutely wrong in saying that the people in the street deny the result of the election. They deny the government appointed by the winning party! Big difference, Jose! And regarding the ordinances/decrees related to the abuse of power, any protester may call you a sheep as you call them, mainly because you have absolutely no credibility using words copied after Romania ( Ghita) TV.

  4. Bódis Kata

    It’s up to them to decide.

    Having an un-liked government is much better than having no government.

    • Victor Neamt

      Having an openly pro-corruption government in a country plagued by it is not better than going through the naming of a new government, in my opinion.

      They lost legitimacy after the “Night Raid”.

  5. Marian Rodu

    Governments are dime a dozen, we’ve had 12 in 27 years and only 8 Parliamentary elections. I don’t see the problem. The Government has lost the respect and faith of the people in a big way, government is replaced, it should be that simple.

    Any talk of paid protesters should only be about the PSD ones who are brought in groups by car and buses form Teleorman and other PSD bastions and even then in laughably small numbers….it’s hard to pay people to come protest for you isn’t it….maybe they’ll bring in people from India next.

    There have been 600 000 people at once protesting at the peak, anyone who says all of them and their dogs were paid are either trying to distract your attention from the real issues or are simply imbeciles.

    • Alex N Bu

      it lost the respect of whom ?? respect is not something you determine by who can yell the hardest !! and the anti-PSD propaganda is infact a invalid argument !! it is very democratic for them to react to all the NGO, president, USR & co. acusations … the political pressure that is made on a party by the president, and other parties have nothing to do with the protests !!

      they didn„t loose the respect of THEiR voters !! the people who protested didn„t vote PSD at the elections, so ….

    • Marian Rodu

      Alex…pls. You’re muddying the waters equating a government with votes like so many shills or stupid people.. WE DON’T ELECT GOVERNMENTS we ELECT PARLIAMENTS.

      If you are confronted with the biggest protests in your country since the bloody “revolution” and they’re all against YOU, if you don’t conclude that people don’t trust you then you’re a moron or are corrupt and simply don’t care.

      Politicians and governments should take responsibility for their actions and should step down with much less coercion than massive protests.

    • Sorin M Luca

      Just a “stupid people”, who deny the democratic election of this government.

    • Sorin M Luca

      We elect a parliment … to have a legitimate gouvernment, not to spend money for nothings! Why after election a new government is put in place?

    • Marian Rodu

      “Why after election a new government is put in place?” Did you sleep for the last 3 weeks? It’s been explained to death, if you don’t want to understand why, then I’ll not waste my breath.

  6. Rumy Milten

    Yes. It was democratically elected as correctly pointed out But they didn’t fulfil their obligations. They need to go!

  7. Alex N Bu

    no ! it wouldn„t solve anything!! after all you can„t blame a government for 1 law, that some NGO didn„t like and decided to protest … shure it has to be made an example, but the government is what the elections offered! so, it would have no sense to resign … just to be reinstated the next day in roughly the same formula !! it would be a bad political and economical decision … on bouth political sides !!

  8. Francisc Leopold

    At least Trumo didn’t try to make theft illegal, he is just dealing with illegals, he is a baby. :-)) They should honor resign, and the party in power(they were voted) should make another propose, they did enough harm already..It seems they don’t have any honour anywayz.

  9. Paul

    Firstly it’s not even moral to release those amendments in the night.

    Second, you don’t decriminalize and give “get out of jail” freecards for their colleagues who committed fraud, washed and stole huge amounts of money, manipulated the population through media (channels like Antena franchise – by the way the guys who own those channels is in jail and he is on the “get out of jail” list), raised lies againts opposition to gain followers and much worse.

    It’s OUTRAGEOUS! The Social Democrats Party was formed by ex-comunists leaders (like Ion Iliescu who ordered the shot on the communist leader Ceausescu) who overthrown the comunist system and took the power by force (look up “Mineriada”) .

    The situation is critical right now because they control the majority and they can do whatever they want. Those votes were corrupt and there are a lot of people who testified against them because their votes were bought for “a dollar”.
    They promised and pressured the people who were in need of money and jobs that they will change this country in good and gave them money and promised more is they voted for them (and some require photos as proof in exchange for 50 lei~15$) but they were the ones stealing and corrupting the system since the begining. Ex-comunists and Former Secret Service personnel with big criminal records now rule a country from the shadows and the population is desperate because they now see the gravity of the situation. The President is a dead dude who wouldn’t be in that seat if it wasn’t for his opponent who was from PSD and the people hated him. This country has to fight to retake it’s future and lands else we will be sold and bought like Greece, Ukraine, etc.


    • Adrian


  10. Marius Tritean

    Yes, they should! But they are commies and they won’t go without the chairs on which are sitting …

    • Daniel Mindru

      Why should a legitimate government resing? Only because a bunch of brainless want it to happen?

    • Goran Penic

      Daniel Mindru, why? Did you really just asked me why? Come on please… Grow up

  11. Bogdán Róbert

    Of course it should interfere, that means Europe minding its own business. That 600k protesters were European citizens.

    • Luchian MD Mihail

      At a pro goverment tv station an ex military general supporting the goverment Abraham asked for silence of the protesters using deadly war ammunition !

    • Sorin M Luca

      And the rest of 17 milions are from Africa?

    • Bogdán Róbert

      Sorin M Luca did I say that? I’ve said that Europe should interfere, they should be involved in resolving the situation, maybe mediating a dialog between the government and the protesters. It’s obvious that there is a serious lack of trust regarding the current government, and maybe the ruling party should offer a new PM with a new cabinet, who has the trust of the people. Nobody elected this government, they were appointed.

  12. Luchian MD Mihail

    I am romanian and besides what you hear in the press related to allegation for issuing laws to promote corruption such as “a theft or a crime can not be denounce for investigation if more than 6 month have passed from it”, “if you support a criminal act you can’t be indicted if the criminal is your relative(issued to protect theft from public money from top party leaders) which have drove thousands of people in the streets more abuses have arrived.

    The goverment want to fines people who have protested against it with their children at their side by app 1200 euro up to 2200 euro, while the small bunch of their supporters no more than 2000 people who are taking their children to support the corrupt goverment are not subject of same invented regulations.

    These are abuses.

    The corrupt goverment has issued arrest warrants for the people in Romania who have used drones to film to crowd protesting, because thar showed how many people took the streets to protest. They want to put people.witb drones for minimum 3 years in prisons using a law created in 1997 which was meant for private planes not flying drones which did not exist at that time, stating to fly a small drone you need to launch from an airport with flight authorization from the aviation as if was a Boeing.

    Furthermore members of the rulling party like Cacp Tariceanu have expressed admiration for Erdogan and Putin for their dictatorship skills and at the pro goverment tv post an ex military general Abraham has stated anti goverment protesters should be send home using war ammo on them to silence the opposition.

  13. Sorin-Iulian Florut

    No, the government shouldn`t resign! Not under street pressure and not because a minority supporting the parties that had lost elections last December is protesting against something that is perfectly legal. The government has the constitutional and legal right to do what was done. Most of the protesters don`t know the issue they protest against. But, even ALL the protesters would be fully aware of the issue, they are still a minority. On the other hand, not all corrupted politicians only, but all corrupted citizens should be in prison. They should be imprisoned only after they had been convicted / sentenced in a right trial, based on evidence, according to the constitution and the laws, not on the prosecutors` whim or on a political command.

    • Aeroth Robert

      here is the troll/usefull idiot. found him!

    • Sorin-Iulian Florut

      Aeroth Robert , you don`t speak as a responsible person. Calling names can`t replace arguments in a debate. That reveals lack of education, at least. As many of the protesters` supporters, you reveal lack of information as well. You do not want debate, you want to protrude / compel your opinions. That is not democracy, it is dictatorship. Your fellows lost elections, but want to impose their own government against majority will expressed by the last December elections. That is the punt / stake of the protests.

    • Mimi Voiculescu

      You are such a liar ! Shame on you for spreading fake information ! It has nothing to do with the elections , people are protesting against Grindeanu government and they are well informed . How many people should go into the streets ? More than half of the population ? Over 600 000 are not enough ? This prime minister lost its moral credibility and should resign.

    • Sorin-Iulian Florut

      Mimi Voiculescu , no, not even 1.000.000! Yes, more than half of voting population! Because we just had elections. If you wanted another government, you should have voted. Sorry to tell you, you are misunderstanding democracy. But if you want dictatorship, you are completely right.

    • Domnica Macri

      Mr. Florut, you obviously have no idea how a democracy works. Governments always resign under street pressure, especially when they have been caught red-handed doing something so unethical – so bad that they had to undo it themselves. It is up to the ruling party to then form another – hopefully better – government. That is how it works. Governments are not elected.

    • Sorin-Iulian Florut

      Domnica Macri , what you say is anarchy, not democracy! Keep on learning, then advise others! 1) Government not always resign under street pressure, especially in less than two months since the last parlamentary elections. Last, but not least example, Trump`s government is not resigning under stret`s pressure. So, first of your false assertions. 2) Second false assertion of you is that Grindeanu government was caught red-handed. False, due to the fact they acted perfectly legal, according to law and to what they were and are entitled to. 3) Nothing was unethical, on the contrary, the ordinance decree tried to reincriminate the abuse of power which had been unincriminated in august 2016 under Ciolos government, because Constitutional Court of Romania found that Penal Law article [297(1)] unconstitutional. It is the street`s right to protest, but it is not its right to dictate the Parliament how to empower the government. That is your 4th false assertion. The minister of Justice resigned, in spite everything he did was perfectly legal, he tried to implement a recommendation of the Constitutional Court of Romania and of the Venice Commision. The only true assertion of yours (however not completely) is “Governments are not elected”. But that assertion should be completed with “in Romania, governments are supported by a parliamentary majority”. Which majority still exist, last censure motion of the opposition just failed. So, democracy is mainly vote, not street. That is the lesson you should learn before talking about democracy.

  14. Oana

    I think that the resignation of the entire Government it’s not the right answer. In my opinion, a solution for the problem in matter is that no politician that committed or is a suspect in a felony can be a part of the Government or the Parliament.

  15. Adela Bacum

    Sorin-Iulian Florut,ai mare dreptate,nu strada decide,dar “strazii” i s-a dat apa la moara cu scop bine determinat,in beneficiul unora si in detrimentul tuturor.Acum cum bagi dulaii sau coteii la cotet?Cu ce costuri?

    • Sorin-Iulian Florut

      Pana la urma, trebuie aplicata legea cu privire la manifestatiile neautorizate! Ce “spontaneitate” e asta de 2 – 3 saptamani si mai ales dupa retragerea ordonantelor? Numai unii sa respecte legea? Ceilalti nu? Autorizatie nu! Subminarea puterii de stat (infractiune) da! Aducerea minorilor la miting (contraventie) da! Johannis – hot de case (complice la fals si uz de fals) bun si cinstit! Kovesi si procurorii ei abuzivi – foarte buni! Judecatorii corupti – buni, daca dau sentinta pe care o vrea strada la un anumit moment! Respectarea legii – rea cand nu convine! Democratia se bazeaza pe alegeri – rea, daca nu au castigat johannistii!

  16. Adrian

    Romania needs stability. This instability affects the economy and potential investment.
    The govt should stay BUT they should keep their hands off the DNA.

  17. Dicu Elena Denisa

    Should president Iohannis resign because he has 6 houses from illegal money? Should people read the laws before they protest against them?

    • Domnica Macri

      should trolls try to be less conspicuous?

    • Necula George Spiru

      Si mai ales să le citească cu atenţie şi fără prejudecăţi. Tinerii şi mai puţin tinerii care protestează nu realizează că dacă nu fac efortul să gândească, convingerile pe care le clamează au vărsta prejudecăţilor din care s-au format.

    • Dicu Elena Denisa

      Trolls should definitely stop joining illegal protests, even when protesting against corruption!!!

    • Dicu Elena Denisa

      Raileanu Constantin, pe bune! Eu nu susțin nimic ilegal! Ghinion!

    • Gabriela Mantu

      they shouldn’t ! and I’m against someone else telling us what to do ! Try to think with your oun brain!

  18. Daniel

    At this moment, the only regret of the Romanian government, is that they have been caught, they still tell that the streets tell lies, that are payed to be in streets, and try to intimidate us. Lately tried to amerce people that get their kids in the streets. The government have to start thinking about people that pay them and not to think about lows that allow them to get rich. In my opinion, after a good result of the election, they should stay in charge, but with good people that follows that governmental plan looking to the people.

  19. Liviu Dinu

    Resign e spus elegant și aplicabil la alte etnii.Noi romanii zicem”să se ducă dracului și cit mai urgent”am încheiat citatul.

    • Cristian Heller

      You visit romania for sy is really democracy !! Shame for send this

    • Alina Shipman

      Breaking news for you: no country is.

  20. Costin Halaicu

    Yes, they should probably resign. However, I do think that if they finish with the whole attempt to save their own skins from the justice system, the demonstrations will subside and they can govern even with the current formula. With dented credibility, sure, but they probably can go on for a while.

    • Sorin-Iulian Florut

      Government has always no credibility if you ask opposition. And street protesters are mainly opposition`s supporters, although they were struggling to pretend they were apolitical.

    • Costin Halaicu

      You don’t have to ask the opposition to figure out that their credibility plunged in this case. It’s quite obvious. Protesters might be anti-government voters, but I doubt that there aren’t PSD voters adking some questions now as well.

  21. Ursulescu Daniela

    The Romanians have every right to say to their leaders Stop! you are wrong, whenever they consider it. When you turn off the people’s voice it is not democracy, it is tyranny,it is dictatorship. After 50 years of communism and 27 years of pseudo-communism, we know what these words mean! Yes, the government should resign!

  22. Ioana C

    Ivan Burrows, your comments and profile are those of a Putin’s troll.

  23. Maia Alexandrova

    That government survived a no-confidence vote in the parliament, but it looks like such a vote should be put to the people, so that the problem is solved once and for all. Governments that so blatantly fly in the face of law in order to protect high-ranking criminals, deserve their fate.

    There was a very similar situation in Bulgaria in 2013. The protests went on for months, but the government not only did not resign, they built fences around the parliament and put a permanent police cordon to guard it from being stormed by protesters. The compromised politicians behaved like dictators, not like servants of the people. They were so hated they had to hide like rats and use back entrances to go get in and out of the parliament. This went on until after the European elections in 2014 when one of the coalition partners dropped its support from the ruling party and finally there were elections for a new parliament. The new government did not have any serious gaffes, but was too weak and one day simply decided it could no longer rule, so new parliamentary elections will be held next month. It is not easy to find good, stable and reliable leaders these days.

  24. Duncan

    If every corrupt or lying politician were made to quit, we’d not have enough left in the entire world to fill a UN summit meeting. That said if the Romanian people want them gone, then maybe they should be gone.

  25. Georgian

    First of all,The Social Democrat Party obtained 45% of the votes,(it is not fair to say 15% of the total number of Romanians). LiberalNational Party obtained 19%, The Union Save Romania 8%, The Union of the Hugarians from Romania 6%, The Liberal Democrats’ Alliance 5.9% and The party of People’s Movement 5.8%.
    About prime-minister’s resignation, I think that this would be useless because it’s the same party that will govern the state of Romania.

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