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Indictments against Liviu Dragnea and others come amid new anti-government protests, as the Romanian leu drops to a record low.14 November 2017
Liviu Dragnea, the leader of the ruling Romanian Social Democrat Party (PSD), has been indicted for fraud, creating an organized criminal group, and misuse of office, according to a statement from the European Commission’s anti-fraud office, OLAF. Romania’s anti-corruption police, the DNA, indicted eight other people on similar charges, after an investigation by OLAF.
Dragnea denies the charges, which center on an alleged fraud involving European Union funds totaling 21 million euros. “I definitely do not feel guilty. I have never formed a criminal group,” Dragnea said, according to Politico, citing the Romanian news site HotNews.ro.
The opposition National Liberal Party and Save Romania Union (USR) called for Dragnea’s resignation as head of the lower house of parliament Monday after the charges came to light, according to SeeNews.
The allegations may further tarnish Dragnea’s record and could add to the mounting image problem of PSD, which has faced wave after wave of protests against cronyism, corruption, and, more recently, against a series of disputed new laws.
On Sunday, Romanians protested against controversial changes to the tax law and the judicial system for the second consecutive Sunday.
Workers say the proposal to shift social security contributions from employer to worker, along with lowering income tax from 16 to 10 percent will not increase their take-home pay as the government claims, according to SeeNews.
There was also bad news for consumers yesterday as the leu weakened to a record low against the euro, according to See News.
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