Peaceful protest in Bucharest after Friday’s violent clashes

Peaceful protest in Bucharest after Friday’s violent clashes

Romania, a country of 20 million which hosts a USA ballistic missile defence station, remains among the poorest and most corrupt members of the EU.

But Iohannis also suggested that protesters who sought to break through police lines guarding Bucharest's government buildings and who threw rocks and stones at the police, injuring some officers, also deserved some blame.

The antigovernment protest in Bucharest on August 10 drew tens of thousands Romanians from overseas and local residents who demanded the government resign over moves to change laws that critics say would make it harder to prosecute corruption.

The demonstrations on Saturday proceeded peacefully, with approximately 25,000 people taking part in the capital Bucharest, according to the Agerpres news agency.

And on Saturday, thousands of protesters returned to the streets to call for the government to resign.

"I firmly condemn riot police's brutal intervention, strongly disproportionate to the actions of the majority of people", he said.

As the protest continued well into the night, riot police used a water cannon and increasingly sprayed tear gas into the crowd.

Three journalists said they were also subjected to police violence.

According to the World Bank, up to a quarter of the Romanian population - between three and five million people - live and work overseas, sending back around $US5bn to one of the EU's least developed countries.

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A Romanian protester wears an old gas mask during the second day of protest of expatriates against the leftist government on Saturday in Bucharest.

Riot police spokesman Marius Militaru said police are pursuing charges against eight people for the violence.

"Have no fear! Romanians will rise up!" and "You thieves!" they yelled. Among them were a number of politicians, including a senator and 28 mayors.

There were no immediate reports of life-threatening injuries, but Militaru said a female colleague had been "brutally beaten" and has a suspected fractured spine.

The protestors were organised by Romanian expat groups operating overseas.

With Kovesi at the helm, the Anti-Corruption Prosecutor's Office (DNA) had led a crackdown on corruption among local and national elected officials, earning the enmity of many in Romania's political class and prompting critics to accuse it of abuse of power. Those changes made it through parliament but are now being challenged in the country's constitutional court.

Before Kovesi's sacking, thousands of protesters took to the streets in support of her.

"We expect full explanations", he wrote.

Prime Minister Viorica Dancila, in turn, accused Iohannis of "inciting the population against the authorities" and "using the dramatic effects of the events". At least one injured journalist worked for an Austrian news outlet.

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