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Romanian president urges govt to solve crisis, sees no need for snap vote

Romanian president urges govt to solve crisis, sees no need for snap vote Romania's president Klaus Iohannis

BUCHAREST (Romania), February 7 (SeeNews) - Romania's president Klaus Iohannis said on Tuesday that he does not want the Social Democrat- led government to resign, even though he finds it responsible for the crisis that sparked the largest street protests since the fall of communism.

Iohannis also said he does not want early elections.

On Sunday, the government of left-wing Social Democrat Party (PSD) and centre-right Liberal-Democrat Alliance (ALDE) revoked an emergency decree adopted just days before that would have weakened Romania's fight against corruption and helped politicians avoid criminal prosecution on graft charges. However, some 500,000 protesters all over Romania on Sunday urged the government to step down particularly after local media reported there was a serious legal glitch in the government's decision to scrap the emergency decree.

"The withdrawal of emergency decree 13 and the possible dismissal of a minister is certainly too little. Early elections in this phase would be too much. This is the margin of action," Iohannis said during a televised speech in parliament. "Who must come up with the solution? Well, naturally, the one who created the problem, PSD!"

No member of the coalition government attended the president's speech, while MPs from PSD and ALDE exited the chamber in sign of protest. However, PSD leader Liviu Dragnea, and ALDE president Calin Popescu Tariceanu, stayed. Dragnea is chairman of the lower house of parliament, while Tariceanu is chairman of the upper house.

The Romanian president also said he does want the government to resign - a claim repeatedly made by Liviu Dragnea.

"You won, now you govern and regulate, but not at any cost! Romania needs a strong government, a government that does not meekly execute orders that come from the party. Romania needs a government that works transparently governing predictably in daylight, not at night, furtively," Iohannis said.

The government approved the emergency decree at 21.00 CET on Tuesday and hastily published in the Official Gazette. The decree decriminalised several offences and made abuse of office punishable by jail terms only if that offence has resulted in a loss of more than 200,000 lei ($47,500/44,000 euro).

Last week, technocrat minister responsible for business environment, Florin Jianu, resigned because of the protests.

Also, several PSD members have resigned or called for the repeal of the emergency decree.

Opposition National Liberal Party (PNL) and Save Romania Union (USR) filed a censure motion against the government on Wednesday. PNL leader Raluca Turcan urged the other parties in parliament to leave it and thus trigger early elections.

(1 euro = 4.5156 lei)

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