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On National Holiday, Romanians Plan to Protest Justice Laws

Romanians are planning to stage protests on the country's Dec. 1 national holiday to vent their anger at plans by the left-wing government to restructure the justice system, which some believe will make it harder to prosecute high-level corruption.

BUCHAREST, Romania (AP) — Romanians are planning to stage protests on the country's Dec. 1 national holiday to vent their anger at plans by the left-wing government to restructure the justice system, which some believe will make it harder to prosecute high-level corruption.

Mass protests have occurred around the country in recent weeks with fresh anger at the move, also criticized by the U.S State Department and Romanian magistrates.

The government says it wants to revamp the justice system to make it more independent. But others say that Romania's status as a functioning, pro-Western democracy is at stake.

Columnist Dan Tapalaga wrote Thursday the outcome of a clash between the government and protesters will determine "the long-term future of Romania: do we remain or leave the Western partnerships with the U.S. and the EU?"

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