The Government’s intention to modify the legislation through Emergency Ordinance that would result in the saving of hundreds of important politicians and other important figures, as well as a partial pardon for rapists and pedophiles from the justice’s arms represents an issue with the potential of bringing high levels of social and political instability.
     The draft bill was about to be adopted without being discussed, through an Emergency Ordinance, on Wednesday, according to media reports, but the intervention of President Klaus Iohannis, who unexpectedly went to the Government to chair the Executive’s meeting seems to have made Prime Minister Sorin Grindeanu to change his mind and postpone the adoption of the legislation.
     Almost all of its provisions are controversial: Suspended convictions are pardoned, those over 60 or with a small child in care are forgiven of half of their sentence, abuse of office is only considered a crime from 200.000 LEI prejudice onwards, a denounce is only valid if made within 6 months from the moment the crime was made and so on. Justice Minister Florin Iordache said that such an act is necessary because of the overcrowding in Romanian prisons who has an occupation rate of 150%.
     The reaction from the society was immediate. A protest in Bucharest attracted 3.500-4.000 people according to some estimations, while smaller others were organized in different large Romanian cities. That is remarkable considering that they were organized the same day that the existence of the draft bills was announced and that it was very cold in Romania at that time.
     A much larger protest is expected on Sunday in Bucharest and other cities.
     The Government’s activity might be affected if the protests will become bigger and especially if they will last for a longer period. It is not truly conceivable to believe that we would see early elections or a Government resignation like following the 2015 protests but we could see some shakeups, changes in key positions and maybe even a change in the power’s behavior.
     The conclusion: Romania has entered a period of political and social uncertainty and it is still too early to see what will follow.

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