Over 450 people hurt in Romania protest clashes

Romanian anti riot police clash with protesters throwing plastic bottles at them during a demonstration in front of the Romanian government headquarters in Bucharest to protest against the government

Romanian anti riot police clash with protesters throwing plastic bottles at them during a demonstration in front of the Romanian government headquarters in Bucharest to protest against the government

Romanians protested against corruption in Bucharest and major provincial cities for a second day running on Saturday, demanding the Social Democrat government's resignation.

Friday's protests were organised and promoted by groups of Romanians working overseas, angry at what they say is entrenched corruption, low wages and attempts by the PSD to weaken the judiciary in one of the European Union's most corrupt states. Some individuals lobbed rocks, bottles and smoke bombs at riot police.

Police came in for criticism after they used water cannons and tear gas on Friday to disperse protesters calling on the leftwing government to resign. The Bucharest-Ilfov Emergency Service said that of those 65 people, including nine riot police, were taken to the hospital.

Tens of thousands of people staged peaceful protests in other Romanian cities.

Representatives of the Social Democratic Party (PSD), however, continued to claim that the recent protests are set up by the opposition and president Klaus Iohannis to try and overthrow the legitimate government.

"I came after seeing what happened on Friday on television - the brutality of the police against peaceful people", said Floarea Toader, 64, the national yellow, blue and red flag draped across her shoulders.

He called on the country's Interior Ministry to "urgently explain" the way in which the event was managed, saying: "The attempt to defeat the will of the people through a violent reaction of the law enforcement forces is a condemnable solution".

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"Have no fear! Romanians will rise up!" they yelled. "We expect full explanations", he said on Twitter.

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. They sent home just under bn past year, a lifeline for rural communities in one of the EU's least developed countries.

Protests have been building against the PSD for months.

This year it pushed changes to the criminal code through parliament that have raised concerns from the European commission and U.S. state department. The changes are being challenged in the Constitutional Court.

Romania was ranked 49th out of 180 on Transparency International's Corruption Perceptions Index for a year ago, below most other European nations. They were more determined than ever to continue their protests against the government and the ruling coalition that supports it.

"I would ask our ruling politicians to switch places with us, work the way we do and see what that is like".

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