Protests Against Corruption – New protests in Romania

 

 

Protests Against Corruption –  New protests in Romania have erupted over the past weekend.

The New Protests

Thus, according to the organisers, the new protests gathered a large amount of people: over 50 thousand people in a dozen cities across the country. However, the protests were strongest in Bucharest, the capital of Romania.

Protests Against Corruption - Bucharest - Humanizator.ro

Protests Against Corruption – Bucharest

Therefore, over 20 thousand people gathered in front of the government building

The questions we need to raise here are:

What are the protests about?

Who organizes the protests?

And -Who are the demonstrators?

What is the link between the previous and current protests?

Also, What are the chances of success?

What are the protests about?

According to organizers, to printed slogans and to their chants, these New protests in Romania are  Protests Against Corruption in Romania, particularly the corruption of politicians.

Protests Against Corruption - Timisoara - Humanizator.ro

Protests Against Corruption – Timisoara

To summarize, they are against a set of modifications to justice laws.

Thus, protesters fear the changes might give more leeway to corrupt political figures.

Furthermore, protests refer to changes in fiscal policy. In brief, the way social security payments are made.

Overall, the protesters claim these changes might lead to a decrease in net wages.

Similarities with Winter  Protests

According to their political opponents, this new series of demonstrations are a continuation of last winter’s ones.

Then, the protesters attempted to overthrow the newly elected social-democrat government.

Thus, they hoped tore place it with a centre-right or technocratic cabinet more amenable to the wishes of the strongly right-wing Romanian president and Romanian middle-classes.

Who organizes these  Protests Against Corruption?

At face value, the protests are organized by a vast coalition of civil society organizations, media and social media figures, think tanks.

Protests Against Corruption -Brasov- Humanizator.ro

Protests Against Corruption –Brasov

At the last moment, political figures from the right-wing opposition and the former technocratic government decided to participate.

But claimed to do so as private citizens.

However, some opponents of the protests, see behind the new protests in Romania a long-rumored coalition: the coalition  between the main intelligence service of Romania and the National Anti-Corruption Directorate (DNA).

DNA and Intelligent Service  

Notably, The DNA is responsible for the prosecution and eventual jailing of a substantial number of political figures, including a former prime-minister. Important to realize, in many cases, this has been done with help and hints from the intelligence service.

Coincidentally or not, most of the prosecuted politicians come from the social-democratic party.

Significantly, the intelligence service is the heir to the Communist-era Securitate. Also, it is rumored to control or even employ a vast number of politicians and civil society analysts and activists.

Who are the demonstrators? What is the link with previous protests?

The demonstrators, in reduced numbers from those in February, are a fairly homogenous group.

In addition to organizers, they gather mostly young and middle-aged people, employees of multinational corporations and NGOs.

To point out, the working class and the political left-wing are mostly left outside. But so are the elements of the extreme right wing. In this as well as in the list of demands, there are significant links between current protests and last winter’s protests.

 What are the chances of success?

This is a difficult question.

If these Protests Against Corruption  continue and they grow in scale, they have a strong chance to significantly alter or delay government policy.

Thus, previous demonstrations have a strong record in this area. Virtually, no policy opposed in the street passing into law.

Be it a mining law or laws concerning justice.

However, if the goal is to overthrow the government and maybe cause new elections, the question becomes more difficult.

Protests Against Corruption ask New Election

They were – twice in the last six years.

But conditions were different.

In 2012, street protests overthrew a austerity-prone government. However, this happened at the height of the economic crisis.

In 2015 street protests overthrew another cabinet.

Certainly, this was after a terrible tragedy that saw 60 people killed by a fire in a nightclub.

Although social media seems very angry, the masses do not seem enough indignant to overthrow the government.

Which is not to say that it will not reach those levels.

Resignation

The protests could also cause changes in the power structure inside the ruling party.

Perhaps they would lead to the replacement of the social democratic leader Liviu Dragnea, much reviled by the protesters.

 

 

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