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Romanians protest government corruption for a second straight day

Romanians protest government corruption for a second straight day

Some protesters threw bottles and other objects at police, who used tear gas and water cannon in retaliation, resulting in people on both sides requiring brief medical attention.

They are upset at alleged moves by the ruling Social Democrat Party (PSD) to weaken the judiciary and decriminalise some low-level corruption offences.

"In a European state, attacking innocent people, attacking journalists, attacking women and children is inconceivable", he said Monday, calling for a thorough investigation into police brutality during the anti-government protest.

Centre-right President Klaus Iohannis said he "strongly condemned the brutal intervention of the police, which was disproportionate to the attitude of most demonstrators", but added that "any form of violence is unacceptable".

Three journalists also said they were roughed up by police.

Numerous demonstrators are Romanian expats who have returned from across Europe to voice their anger at the government.

Anti-government protesters rally at Victoriei Square in front of government headquarters in Bucharest, Romania, on Sunday.

Romania: Violent protest leaves 440 needing medical treatment
Romanians protest government corruption for a second straight day

Thousands of people demonstrated also in Cluj Napoca, Sibiu and Timisoara in Transylvania, in the eastern city of Iasi or Black Sea port of Constanta.

"The expatriates supporting the event in Bucharest, some of whom drove across Europe to attend, said they were angry at how Romania is being governed".

Police spokesman Georgian Enache defended the action of the officers, saying "the legitimate state violence" was justified as protesters had repeatedly been warned to leave Victory Square in Bucharest.

In 2015, Romania's prime minister - a member of the Social Democratic Party who was tried for corruption, fraud and tax evasion while he was in office - resigned after a deadly nightclub fire that was blamed in part on corruption and poor safety oversight.

Romania ranks as one of the EU's most corrupt states, and its justice system is kept under special monitoring by Brussels.

Mr Iohannis had been under extensive pressure from the PSD government to agree to her removal. The changes are pending Constitutional Court challenges. There have also been long-running waves of protests against judicial reforms - at their peak drawing an estimated half a million people nationwide in February 2017. "We expect a full explanation".

The New York Times: Violence Erupts as Tens of Thousands Protest Corruption in Romania - "An estimated 3 to 5 million Romanians are working and living overseas, the World Bank has said, up to a quarter of the European Union state's population, ranging from day laborers to doctors".