Romanian PM Sorin Grindeanu said on Saturday evening that the controversial amendments to the Criminal Code and Criminal Procedural Code that had been approved on Tuesday night will be scrapped during an emergency government meeting that will take place this Sunday.
“We don’t want to divide Romania. Romania can’t be broken in two,” said Grindeanu during a press conference, while over 100,000 people were protesting outside the government building.
Grindeanu added that he will initiate a dialogue with the other political parties over the changes to the Criminal Code and that the project will be submitted to the Parliament as a draft bill for approval.
He added that the RON 200,000 threshold, under which the abuse in office offence would be decriminalized, could be eliminated.
The PM explained that the draft bill on the penal legislation will have to contain the previous rulings of the Constitutional Court. He admitted that the changes were not communicated properly.
Grindeanu said he wants to continue to implement the governing program, thus suggesting he will not resign.
At this moment, it is not clear what will happen with the minister of Justice, Florin Iordache.
The controversial amendments to the Criminal Code, which the legal community claimed would pose a risk to the country’s anti-corruption efforts, have triggered reactions from foreign embassies, the business associations of local and foreign investors and from high-ranking representatives of the European Union and the United States of America. Their common message was that such changes risk undermining Romania’s rule of law and its efforts to combat corruption.
The amendments have been challenged at the Constitutional Court by president Klaus Iohannis, the Ombudsman Victor Ciorbea and the Superior Council of Magistrates.