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Protests Continue Despite Romanian Parliament Approving Antigraft Referendum

Daily protests, including huge weekend rallies, have been taking place across Romania in the past couple of weeks.

Romania's parliament has agreed to hold a referendum on public support for fighting corruption.

The move on February 13 failed to appease antigovernment demonstrators, however, who gathered for a 14th consecutive night of protests in the capital, Bucharest.

All 310 lawmakers present in the assembly voted in favor of the referendum proposed by President Klaus Iohannis, a strong supporter of the country's antigraft drive.

Although it was not clear what question will be presented to voters, the referendum is being seen as a way to bolster support for the ongoing fight against corruption.

Romania has seen its biggest antigovernment protests since the end of communism in the two weeks since the leftist government issued a decree weakening anticorruption laws.

Prime Minister Sorin Grindeanu withdrew the decree, but nightly demonstrations have continued to draw large crowds demanding the resignation of the government, which assumed power last month.

Late on February 13, hundreds of people assembled outside the government offices in Victory Square despite the freezing cold. Some waved Romanian flags and chanted "Resignation!" to the beat of drums.

Daily protests, including huge weekend rallies, have taken place in the capital, Bucharest, and other large cities around the country.

Based on reporting by AP, AFP, and