Protesters have taken to the streets in Romania for six straight nights over the government's contentious corruption legislation © AFP DANIEL MIHAILESCU
Protesters have taken to the streets in Romania for six straight nights over the government’s contentious corruption legislation
© AFP DANIEL MIHAILESCU

Agency Report

An estimated half-million Romanians have reported to have taken to the street in another night of protests Sunday, with many calling on the government to quit.

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The latest episode comes in spite of government’s scrapping of the corruption legislation that sparked the week of public outrage.

Prime Minister Sorin Grindeanu stood firm, however, saying his government, which has barely been in office a month, “has a responsibility to the people who voted for us” and would not resign.

The last six nights of noisy protests have been the biggest outpouring of public anger since the toppling and summary execution of communist dictator Nicolae Ceausescu in 1989.

The object of public anger is an emergency decree passed on Tuesday night which critics at home and abroad feared marked an alarming retreat in the battle against corruption, long the scourge of the EU’s second-poorest country.

Grindeanu’s cabinet earlier on Sunday repealed the decree. But it failed to assuage protesters, as many of them chanted “Resign! Resign!” as they waved flags, brandished signs and blew whistles and plastic horns in the national colours.

“They are corrupt. We want justice… The government will still try something (with the decree),” said Emma, 24, one of between 200,000 and 300,000 people media estimated had gathered at Victory Square in downtown Bucharest

“They are liars and bad people,” said her friend Nicole, 25. “The government has to fall… We are going to come back here every night.”