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Romanians Protest Government's Judicial Reforms

Thousands of Romanians protested in a number of cities on February 24.
Thousands of Romanians protested in a number of cities on February 24.

BUCHAREST -- Thousands of Romanians have taken to the streets of Bucharest and other cities across the country to protest against government measures they say undermines the independence of the country’s judiciary.

More than 10,000 people gathered in the capital on the evening of February 24, while thousands more rallied in other cities including Cluj, Timisoara, Constanta, and Baia Mare.

In Bucharest, the demonstrators blocked traffic outside government headquarters, chanting slogans such as "Justice, not corruption," and "Shame."

The rallies were prompted by measures recently imposed by the government of Prime Minister Viorica Dancila that critics say will exert more political control over the judiciary.

Romania, which currently holds the EU's rotating six-month presidency, needs to "very urgently put the reform process back on track" and abstain "from steps which reverse progress" in fighting corruption, the European Commission said on February 20.

With reporting by dpa and Reuters
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