Europe

Romanian leader slams government plan to pardon prisoners

Romania's president has urged the government to scrap a proposal to pardon thousands of prisoners, a move which has led to massive anti-government protests.

President Klaus Iohannis spoke after tens of thousands of people marched through Romania's capital and other cities on Sunday to protest the initiative, which critics say could reverse anti-corruption efforts.

Premier Sorin Grindeanu has requested an emergency ordinance allowing the government to pardon prisoners to ease prison overcrowding.

Iohannis posted a message on Facebook Monday, urging the government to drop the initiative, saying "the voice of the people can no longer be ignored."

Critics say the proposal could benefit party allies convicted of corruption. Romania's top prosecutor has criticized the plan.