Romania enters a fourth day of anti-government and anti-presidential demonstrations after a weekend marked by the most intense street violence the country has seen since the miners protests in Bucharest in the nineties. Peaceful protests took place in many cities across Romania these days, but only the capital city saw a wave of violence, with HotNews.ro recorded videos showing dozens of violent football fans coming to confront the special police forces deployed in the city centre.
Sunday was the second night of violence in Bucharest. More than 30 people needed medical assistance and about 25 were retained last night.
The protests started in the city of Targu Mures last week following a decision by Raed Arafat - the founder of an alternative ambulance service - to resign as a Health Ministry state secretary following a dispute on a bill aimed at reforming the struggling and corrupt health system.
While the number of protesters stood in the lower hundreds in most cases, the peaceful demonstrations spread across the country with people protesting President Traian Basescu and many of the governmental decisions covering from the car tax to salary cuts to corruption in the healthcare system.
Only in Bucharest, where peaceful protests drew as few as several hundred people, the events turned violent. Confrontations between the police and football club supporters saw much of the city center vandalized on Saturday and Sunday - with all the things Romania had only seen on TV for many years: road bonfires, burnt cars and vandalized shops.
Here is a selection of videos made by HotNews.ro reporters on Saturday and Sunday night:
Saturday night protests:
Sunday night protests: