Romania’s minister of entrepreneurship resigns amid massive protests over Criminal Code amendments

Newsroom 02/02/2017 | 10:18

Florin Jianu, the minister of business environment, commerce and entrepreneurship, said he will step down amid massive protests over the approval of controversial amendments to the Criminal Code.

Jianu said in a Facebook post that “Romania doesn’t deserve what’s happening right now and Romanians don’t deserve what’s happening to them at this moment.”

He is the first minister to step down from the center-left government of Sorin Grindeanu, which has been in power for little over one month.

Jianu added that the he doesn’t want his resignation to be used for political purposes, adding that he is a technocrat specialized in SMEs and entrepreneurship.

“It is a war I don’t abide to and I want it to stop as soon as possible! There are people I appreciate in the current government that also don’t deserve what has happened to them in the past two nights. There are people I appreciate in the PSD and whose good intentions and power to fight, I trust that could help recover what can be recovered: The competency and honesty,” said Jianu, who worked as minister in the current government for 28 days.

During his short term in office, Jianu said that he was able to get several draft bills supporting the business environment through government. He mentioned the launch of the Romania Start-up Nation program and the roll out of the eligibility criteria for business incubators as some of his accomplishments.

Jianu, who was leading the National Council of Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises in Romania (CNIPMMR), before joining Grindeanu’s government, has had previous experience in public office. He also held the SMEs portfolio in the former government of Victor Ponta.

The resignation comes of the back of massive protests that continued this week in Romania. Last night, over 125,000 people gathered in front of the government building and asked PM Grindeanu to repeal the amendments to the Criminal Code.

Several foreign embassies, the European Commission, the main business associations in Romania, president Klaus Iohannis, the representatives of Romania’s judiciary and the opposition parties have asked the government to drop the changes to the penal legislation, which also partially decriminalize the abuse in office.

All the critics of these changes claimed that such moves from the government’s side cripple Romania’s anti-corruption campaign.

Ovidiu Posirca

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