Romania: thousands attend pro-government rally

Thousands of people turned out for a pro-government rally in southern Romania, hoping to boost the popularity of the center-left government following massive anti-corruption protests.

Braving pouring rain, supporters of the ruling Social Democratic Party gathered Saturday in the town of Targoviste, a party stronghold, and sang patriotic songs to voice their support for the two-month-old government of Premier Sorin Grindeanu.

Supporters waved Romanian flags and banners reading "My vote counts" and "We dare to believe in Romania."

A crowd-funded ISSPOL survey published on Feb. 14 showed support for the Social Democrats had dropped to 31 percent, down from 46 percent in the elections.

In recent weeks tens of thousands have demonstrated, after Grindeanu decriminalized some forms of official misconduct. He eventually withdrew the decree but protests continued.