Wednesday 23 September 2020

Riot police used against angry Romanian would-be voters in The Hague

Riot police broke up a large crowd of Romanian nationals who had tried to access the country’s embassy in The Hague on Sunday evening after hundreds were unable to vote in a referendum about corruption.

Romanians had queued for up to four hours outside the embassy to have their say, but the doors were locked at 9pm. Dozens of people then climbed over the fence and banged on the embassy door, at which point riot police were brought in with dogs.

Police later confirmed they had made one charge but said no-one was arrested. Video on one website shows police with batons marching towards a group of people who were chanting ‘we want to vote’, ordering them to ‘walk’.

Some 30,000 Romanian nationals live in the Netherlands and they were able to vote at just three locations.

In Diemen too there were serious problems, leading the city’s mayor to request the embassy send more staff and to describe the situation as a scandal.

Romanians also faced long queues to vote in other European countries with long queues reported outside embassies in Ireland and Luxembourg. Despite the problems outside Romania, the anti-corruption measure gathered enough support and was declared valid.

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