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Protesters Over Corruption in Romania Demand Government Resign

  • VOA News

People light the flashes of their mobile phones in the colors of Romania's flag during an anti-government protest in Bucharest, Romania, Feb. 12, 2017.

Tens of thousands of Romanians took to the streets Sunday in freezing cold weather, demanding the government resign as they accused it of attempting to water down anti-corruption laws.

"Thieves! Resign!" chanted protesters gathered in Victory Square to mark the 13th consecutive day of anti-government demonstrations in the Romanian capital, Bucharest.

An estimated crowd of 50,000 protesters took part in the Bucharest march, according to Romanian media reports. Authorities did not give any number of their own.

Responding to a call on social media, the protesters held up their mobile phone flashlights against colored pieces of paper, lighting up the cold night air with the blue, yellow and red of the national flag.

A huge slogan projected onto a nearby building read "Resist." Some protesters held up banners with the message "Stop corruption! Fighting for democracy."

Thousands of people also protested in the cities of Cluj, Sibiu, Iasi and Timisoara.

The demonstrations, the largest since the ousting and summary execution of communist dictator Nicolae Ceausescu in 1989, have continued despite the resignation of justice minister Florin Iordache Thursday.

Romania joined the European Union in 2007 and Brussels has long taken Bucharest to task over slow progress dealing with corruption and organized crime.

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