Romanian President Klaus Iohannis waves to protesters gathered at a demonstration against government plans to grant prison pardons and decriminalize some offences through emergency decree, in Bucharest, Romania, January 22, 2017. Inquam Photos/Liviu Florin Albei via REUTERS(reuters_tickers)
VALLETTA (Reuters) - Romanian President Klaus Iohannis said on Friday there was no threat to investors from the mass protests in Romania against a retreat on anti-corruption reforms and that the economic situation in his country was good and would remain so.
Romania's government on Thursday rejected calls to withdraw a decree that critics say marks a major retreat on anti-corruption reforms, standing its ground as huge nationwide protests entered a third day.
"The situation in Romania is very complicated, we have hundreds of thousands of Romanians out on the streets ... I am convinced that we will find good solutions. Rule of law has to prevail. European values have to prevail and this is what I believe will happen," Iohannis said on entering an EU summit.
"Investors are not threatened, the economic situation is still very good and I think it will stay good, so no problem for investors. This is a matter of principle for the population, for the politicians," he said.
After 250,000 people took to the streets on Wednesday evening, cracks in government unity emerged Thursday morning with the resignation of a cabinet minister and a call from a vice-president of the ruling party for the decree to be rescinded.
About the same numbers of anti-graft peaceful demonstrators rallied in dozens of Romanians cities and towns on Thursday. Riot police estimated some 80,000 people were gathered in front of the government's headquarters in Bucharest's biggest square.
(Reporting By Jan Strupczewski and Philip Blenkinsop)