Recent weeks have ushered in historic change here in Romania:
- 1 January– The populist Social Democrat Party (PSD) assumed control of Parliament under promises to continue the fight against political corruption, increase wages, and reduce taxes. As an interesting aside, the leader of the party Liviu Dragnea, is serving a suspended sentence for electoral fraud and 2 counts of embezzling approximately $24,000.
- 6 January– Netflix became available in Romania; and I became unavailable.
- 31 January– Using arcane parliamentary loopholes, an emergency decree w
as passed without debate or full vote to decriminalize corruption. The decree will free hundreds of government employees previously convicted of using their office for personal gain if damages were less than $48,000. Ongoing trails (over 2,000), which impact several prominent members of the Social Democrat Party, will be dismissed.
- Record setting crowds protesting corruption in Bucharest and most major cities throughout Romania.
- Leaders of the European Union cautioned that this decree would cause lasting damage to Romania’s standing as a member of the EU.
- Romanian President Klaus Ioannis formally challenged this decree in Constitutional Court (the highest court in Romania).