Hundreds injured as Romanian protests turn violent

Romanian police scuffle with protesters during an anti-government protest in Bucharest on Friday

As a result of clashes injured 36 people, including two police officers - one of them had bruises, another had a fractured finger on his hand. He also said he requested the attorney general look into the legality of the riot police's intervention.

Protest organisers demanded the government resign over recent legislation and measures that they say are tailor-made to advance the interests of corrupt politicians.

At the moment, for medical assistance to more than 435 people.

Police said they had acted in a proportionate way, responding to the violent behaviour of hooligans in the crowd.

Tens of thousands of people showed up to protest Friday in front of the Government House in the capital's Victoriei Square, state-run news agency Agerpres reported.

Police spokesman Georgian Enache defended the action of the officers, saying "the legitimate state violence" was justified as protesters had repeatedly been warned to leave Victory Square in Bucharest.

According to the World Bank, up to a quarter of the Romanian population - between three and five million people - live and work overseas, sending back around $US5bn to one of the EU's least developed countries.

In 2015, Romania's prime minister - a member of the Social Democratic Party who was tried for corruption, fraud and tax evasion while he was in office - resigned after a deadly nightclub fire that was blamed in part on corruption and poor safety oversight.

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The country's top anti-graft prosecutor Laura Codruta Kovesi was sacked in July, raising concern in Brussels.

Romania, a country of 20 million which hosts a US ballistic missile defence station, remains among the poorest and most corrupt members of the EU.

Iohannis has been at loggerheads with the PSD, accusing it of attempting to weaken the fight against corruption, putting pressure on the judicial system, and of implementing bad fiscal policies. The changes are being challenged in the Constitutional Court.

In early 2017, Romanian protesters took to the streets in response to a decree that loosened corruption laws.

Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz, whose country now holds the European Union rotating presidency, has condemned the violence, in which a cameraman for Austria's public broadcaster was also hurt.

It said the tourists were returning to their hotel in the Romanian capital of Bucharest when police stopped them.

"We expect full explanations", he wrote.

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