German FM: "Growing polarization" in Romania over corruption

Germany's top diplomat says he's concerned about "growing polarization" in Romania between politicians and citizens over the anti-corruption fight.

Foreign Minister Heiko Maas, in Bucharest for a visit Monday, said there should be "a balance between justice reforms fighting ... corruption and in defending fundamental rights."

Thousands of Romanians have staged protests since the Social Democracy Party won power in 2016, saying the government wants to dilute the anti-graft fight. Some 450 people needed medical treatment after an anti-government protest turned violent earlier this month.

The government, meanwhile, says the anti-corruption agency has unfairly targeted some politicians.

Romania takes over the rotating presidency of the European Union on Jan. 1. Maas said he was confident Romania was capable of taking on the big role, it's first since it joined the EU in 2007.