A minister has resigned and a top party official has broke ranks Thursday after days of protests in Bucharest's streets in backlash over a government decree on corruption. Matthew Larotonda reports.
Romania's government showing signs of strain as massive protests hit the capital Bucharest, Demanding the repeal of a decree that would grant effective amnesty to dozens of officials embroiled in corruption scandals. The country's trade minister has now resigned, And the ruling party's vice president, breaking ranks to join the chorus. Some 250,000 have joined the demonstrations according to police - the largest in decades. Clashes erupting Wednesday night when a smaller subset, mostly soccer hooligans, became violent. Hundreds tear gassed. The government's plan would legalize graft involving sums less than $48,000. Potentially halting a case against the ruling Social Democrats' own leader, Liviu Dragnea. Prime Minister Sorin Grindeaunu has rejected the calls for repeal. Grindeaunu was picked to head the government by Dragnea himself after the party leader was convicted of a previous vote rigging scheme. The measure is seen by some as the biggest retreat on reforms since the country joined the European Union ten years ago. Romania's constitutional court says it will decide the legality of the move by the end of the month.