The lapdog bites back: Romania’s prime minister digs in

Clearly miffed that in recent times Britain had been outdoing it (by quite some distance) in the ridiculous politics stakes, Romania has upped its game this week and as we write (on Thursday morning) looks set for a new period of political crisis. Coincidentally, just as Theresa May’s problems in the UK are all of… Continue reading The lapdog bites back: Romania’s prime minister digs in

Last Night in Bucharest

More than 150,000 people came out on to Bucharest’s streets last night to demonstrate against Romania’s government. The same number again took part in protests elsewhere in the country. In the capital, the protests ended in sporadic violence after a handful of football hooligans armed with flares and fireworks began to attack the gendarmes at… Continue reading Last Night in Bucharest

Crime Republic

We spoke too soon: last night they went and did it. Under cover of darkness, well after 22:00 Romania’s government issued an emergency ordinance which decriminalises a large number of corruption offences. Major changes were also made to the penal code which will see thousands of corruption cases dropped. Despite the late hour, tens of… Continue reading Crime Republic

Then they came for the NGOs

How predictable was this? No doubt angered by its support for open society, democracy and the rule of law PSD leader Liviu Dragnea has Romanian civil society in his sights. ‘There are many NGOs in Romania who operate correctly, but there are also many who are possibly operating at the limit of law and who… Continue reading Then they came for the NGOs

An anxious week for Romania

There were huge protests across Romania on Sunday night against the government’s plans to issue an emergency ordinance (OUG) that would free thousands of criminals, including hundreds of corrupt politicians. The largest demonstration was in the capital Bucharest, where as many as 30,000 people marched from Piata Universitatii to the government building on Piata Victoriei… Continue reading An anxious week for Romania

Once again

Once again a Bucharest club – this time the highly upmarket and ridiculously expensive Bamboo – burns. This time thankfully, there appears to have been no loss of life and few serious injuries: 41 people have, however, been hospitalised. Once again, as with Colectiv in November 2015, the legal status of the club in question… Continue reading Once again

Disaster averted, for now

Romanian President Klaus Iohannis this morning hijacked the government’s cabinet meeting and prevented it from passing an emergency ordinance (OUG) that would have freed thousands of convicted criminals and seen charges dropped against many other corrupt politicians and businessmen (including PSD leader Liviu Dragnea and former prime minister Victor Ponta).* As was widely leaked to… Continue reading Disaster averted, for now