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Romania leader says recent protest was attempted coup d’etat

August 21, 2018

BUCHAREST, Romania (AP) — The chairman of Romania’s ruling party has called a recent anti-corruption protest that left 450 people injured an attempted coup d’etat.

Speaking for the first time since the Aug. 10 protest, Liviu Dragnea told Antena 3 channel late Tuesday: “I saw an attempted coup to overthrow the government.”

Riot police used tear gas and water cannons to repel what Dragnea called a “paramilitary organization,” among tens of thousands of protesters.

The Social Democratic Party leader also accused multinational companies of financing anti-graft protests that erupted in 2017 over fears the Social Democrats were backtracking on anti-graft efforts.

Dragnea also claimed he’d been the target of a foiled assassination attempt last year. Dragnea has been disqualified for the office of prime minister due to a 2016 vote-rigging conviction.

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