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Thousands Protest in Romania, Brave Frigid Temperatures

  • Associated Press

Protesters lit torches and wave flags as they gather outside the government building in Bucharest, Romania, Feb. 11, 2017.

Thousands of Romanians took to the streets of Bucharest in freezing temperatures on Saturday as anti-government protests continued for an 11th consecutive day.

Protesters are demanding the resignation of Romanian Prime Minister Sorin Grindeanu, holding the illuminated screens of their mobile phones into the air each night at 9 p.m. local time (1900 GMT) to remind the government of their presence.

Romania has seen massive protests in the past two weeks against a government decree that would have diluted the anti-corruption fight that has targeted top officials.

The Social Democrat-led government has withdrawn the emergency decree easing penalties for corrupt officials, but has vowed to craft a version of it to be passed by parliament, where it has a majority.

Earlier, hundreds of government supporters had protested outside the presidential palace against President Klaus Iohannis, whom they blame for the country's political crisis, calling for his resignation.

Iohannis has expressed support for protesters and champions the anti-graft fight that has targeted Romania's rich and powerful.

In Romania, the president is elected separately from the parliament and Iohannis was head of the center-right Liberal Party before becoming president in 2014.

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