- Title: Thousands rally in Romania on anniversary of violent protest
- Date: 10th August 2019
- Summary: BUCHAREST, ROMANIA (AUGUST 10, 2019) (REUTERS) (NIGHT SHOTS) ***WARNING: CONTAINS PROFANITY*** VARIOUS OF PROTESTERS RALLYING IN FRONT OF GOVERNMENT BUILDING (SOUNDBITE) (Romanian) PROTESTER FROM BAIA MARE, OCTAVIAN TRAIAN GATUNA, SAYING: "Anyone who takes care of things knows that cleaning must happen, be it a house, a garden or a country. We have to take care of this country because it's full of weeds and rottenness." PROTESTERS SHINNING LIGHT FROM PHONES, SIGN READING (Romanian): "WE DON'T WANT YOU" VARIOUS OF PROTESTER BLOWING HORNS / BANNER READING (Romanian): "HELLO 112? CORRUPTION KILLS!" PROTESTERS GATHERED PROTESTER DRUMMING PROTESTER BANGING POT PROTESTERS HOLDING CARDBOARD SIGNS PROTESTER WITH PLACARD READING (Romanian): "INCOMPETENT, CORRUPT POLITICIANS KILL US!!" VARIOUS OF PROTESTERS SHINING LIGHT FROM PHONE PROTESTER WAVING ROMANIAN FLAG
- Embargoed: 24th August 2019 23:02
- Keywords: Tens of thousands of protesters Social Democrat government anniversary of violent protest murdered 15-year-old girl corruption diaspora
- Location: BUCHAREST, ROMANIA
- City: BUCHAREST, ROMANIA
- Country: Romania
- Topics: Government/Politics
- Reuters ID: LVA001ARMXPA1
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text:Tens of thousands of Romanians rallied peacefully against the ruling Social Democrat government in the capital, Bucharest, on Saturday (August 10) on the one-year anniversary of a violent police crackdown on protesters.
The protest was organised and promoted by groups of Romanians working abroad, angry at what they say is entrenched corruption, weak public administration and attempts by the ruling coalition to weaken the judiciary in one of the European Union's most corrupt states.
The recent murder of a 15-year-old girl in southern Romania who was found 19 hours after she called emergency number 112 three times has further incensed protesters over authorities' slow response times.
More than 20,000 people both from the diaspora and from within Romania rallied outside government headquarters in scorching temperatures, waving Romanian and European Union flags and demanding the cabinet's resignation.
"Anyone who takes care of things knows that cleaning must happen, be it a house, a garden or a country," said Octavian Traian Gatuna, a farmer from the northwestern Romanian town of Baia Mare who travelled 14 hours to attend the protest.
Peaceful protests have been a staple of the last 2-1/2 years since the ruling Social Democrats came to power and enforced a series of legal changes that are seen as threats to judicial independence and have raised concerns in the EU, the U.S. State Department and among thousands of local magistrates.
The only violent protest occurred on Aug. 10, 2018, when riot police repeatedly fired tear gas into the crowd and were shown beating nonviolent protesters holding their hands up. More than 400 people required medical assistance.
Prosecutors have opened an investigation into the handling of the protest by authorities but the case remains unresolved a year later.
An estimated 3 million to 5 million Romanians are working and living abroad, the World Bank has said, up to a quarter of the EU state's population, ranging from day labourers to doctors.
(Production: Sinisa Dragin)
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