Romania's protest: tear gas used to disperse demonstration against corruption

Tens of thousands of protesters have mobilized against the Social Democratic government (PSD) in Romania and the capital, Bucharest, where riot police confronted some and fired tear gas.

The protests were organized and promoted by groups of Romanians working abroad, outraged by what they say is entrenched corruption, low wages and attempts by the PSD to weaken the judiciary in one of the most corrupt states in the European Union.

In Bucharest, protesters tried to make their way through the security lines that guarded the government building. Others threw bottles and tiles at the riot police, who sprayed tear gas and occasionally used a water cannon.

Riot police charge to clear the square during protests outside the government headquarters in Bucharest, Romania, on Friday, August 10, 2018.

Riot police charge to clear the square during protests outside the government headquarters in Bucharest, Romania, on Friday, August 10, 2018.

Police said groups of "provocateurs" were present in the square. More than 100 people needed medical attention.

Tens of thousands staged peaceful protests in other Romanian cities.

It is estimated that between 3 and 5 million Romanians work and live abroad, according to the World Bank, up to a quarter of the population of the state of the European Union, from day laborers to doctors.

Last year they sent home just under $ 5 billion ($ A6.8 billion), a lifeline for rural communities in one of the least developed countries in the EU.

A man throws a plastic bottle at riot police during protests outside the government headquarters in Bucharest, Romania, on Friday, August 10, 2018.

A man throws a plastic bottle at riot police during protests outside the government headquarters in Bucharest, Romania, on Friday, August 10, 2018.

AAP

The protests have been held repeatedly outside the seat of government since the Social Democrats seized power in early 2017 and tried to decriminalize several corruption offenses.

Earlier this year, they pushed for changes to the criminal code through parliament that have raised concerns from the European Commission and the US Department of State. UU The changes are pending the challenges of the Constitutional Court.

Romania is classified as one of the most corrupt states in the EU and Brussels maintains its justice system under special supervision.

Some politicians of the ruling coalition mocked the demonstration in the previous period, saying they did not understand why the diaspora would protest.

"Almost the entire public sector is malfunctioning, it must be completely changed and replaced by capable people," said Podut.

"I would ask our ruling politicians to change places with us, work the way we do and see how that is."