Tens of thousands of Romanians braved the cold and returned to the streets in protest on Sunday, calling on the government to resign as they accused it of attempting to water down anti-corruption laws.

 

Romania protests

 

“Thieves! Resign!” chanted protesters gathered in front of the seat of government in Bucharest, as they used the lights from their mobile phones to project the blue, yellow and red colours of the Romanian flag.

 

Up to 50,000 protesters took part in the Bucharest march, according to Romanian media reports. The authorities did not give any estimate of their own.

 

Some 20,000 more took to the streets in other major cities, calling on the government to stand down.

 

Sunday’s demonstrations, the 13th consecutive day of protests against the government, took place despite the administration backing down over a planned controversial decree which would have made abuse of power a crime punishable by jail only if the sums involved exceeded 200,000 lei (44,000 euros, $47,500).

 

The demonstrations, the largest since the ousting and summary execution of communist dictator Nicolae Ceausescu in 1989, have continued despite the resignation on Thursday of justice minister Florin Iordache.