Monday, February 6th

Romanians have protested across the county for a sixth day in a row

More than 120,000 people, or, as other estimates say, over 200,000, have gathered in Bucharest’s Victory Square, for a sixth day of anti-government protests. People sand again the National Anthem and at 9 pm on Sunday evening they lit up their phones’ lights and kept a moment of silence for the victims on Colectiv. Across the county, most people gathered in Cluj-Napoca, Timisoara, Iasi, Sibiu and other towns and cities, bringing the total number of people to more than 350,000, as some estimates showed. The protests continued despite the government’s announcement that it had scraped the emergency decree that would have decriminalized some corruption offences, with amendments to the Penal codes. A pro-government protest also took part, in front of Cotroceni Palace, with more than 2,000 people demonstrating against President Klaus Iohannis.

The Romanian Justice Ministry has scrapped its plans to amend the criminal legislation

The Justice Ministry has said it will temporarily suspend its attempts to modify the penal legislation, despite the fact that Minister Florin Iordache had announced, on Monday morning, that he will submit to public debate a document that will take over the content of the emergency ordinance issued on January 31st and rescinded five days later, in the face of massive street protests in Bucharest and around the country. In a statement issued on Monday afternoon, the Justice Ministry has said that it no longer wants to elaborate a draft law to amend the Penal and Criminal Procedure Codes, pending a Constitutional Court ruling on the legality of the laws in question. Meanwhile, the former Secretary of state in the Justice Ministry, Constantin Sima, has been heard at the headquarters of the National Anti-corruption Directorate (DNA), as part of an investigation on the way the controversial emergency ordinance no 13 was elaborated.

The Romanian Foreign Minister has met the Vice-President of the European Commission, Frans Timmermans

The European Commission believes that Romania has to make progress in the anti-corruption drive, not annihilate those made so far, the European Commission’s Vice-President, Frans Timmermans, has told the Romanian Foreign Minister, Teodor Melescanu, in Brussels. Mr. Timmermans has informed Teodor Melescanu that the European Executive is prepared to cooperate with Romania and offer legal expertise, so as Bucharest could reach the targets set in the Cooperation and Verification Mechanism on the Judiciary, the Commission’s spokesperson, Margaritis Schinas, has told Radio Romania. The meeting between the European Commission’s Vice-President and Minister Melescanu was aimed at offering the Romanian official the opportunity to present the current situation in Romania, after the Government has made a series of judicial amendments.

The Senate Speaker has asked President Iohannis to engage in order to make the street protests stop

The Romanian Senate’s President, Calin Popescu Tariceanu, has asked President Klaus Iohannis to get involved in order to make the street demonstrations go to a halt. In an open letter, Mr. Tariceanu says that he called on all political leaders to help the protests stop, because, in his opinion, the situation could get worse and out of control, and the effects might be unpredictable. He has asked President Iohannis to abandon what he called as plans to invalidate the results of the parliamentary elections, lest, Mr. Tariceanu says, the President will have to bear a heavy responsibility in front of the Romanian people.

Mădălina Brotăcel – Agenţia de presă RADOR