Romanian prime minister to resign over protests

 

The Romanian prime minister today announced the immediate resignation of himself and his government, saying he wanted to protect the stability of the country.

Emil Boc said he was resigning “to ease the social situation” — referring to weeks of protests in Romania over austerity measures that he introduced in 2010.

Boc, who became prime minister in 2008, urged Romania's feuding politicians to be mature and rapidly vote for a new government. He defended his record, saying that he had taken “difficult decisions thinking about the future of Romania, not because I wanted to, but because I had to.”

He added that the International Monetary Fund has forecast growth of up to 2 percent this year — lower than expected, but higher than the European Union average.

Opposition politicians called for early parliamentary elections, which are currently scheduled for November.

“This is a victory for those that demonstrated on the streets,” said Crin Antonescu, who heads the opposition Liberal Party. “The most corrupt, incompetent and lying government” since the 1989 anti-Communist revolt has gone, he said.

President Traian Basescu will hold talks Monday with the country's political leaders about a new prime minister, his spokesman Valeriu Turcan said.

Romania signed up for a (euro) 20 billion ($26 billion) loan with the IMF, the European Union and the World Bank in 2009 to help pay salaries and pensions, after the economy shrank by more than 7 percent. In 2010, the government increased sales tax from 19 percent to 24 percent and cut public workers' salaries by a quarter to reduce the budget deficit.

In January, Romanians staged weeks of protests to express anger at cronyism and a perception that the government is not interested in the problems of ordinary people in this nation of 22 million. They protested low living standards, widespread corruption, and the passage of some laws without a parliamentary debate.

“I know that I made difficult decisions, but the fruits have begun to appear,” Boc said in a statement. “The most important thing is the economic stability of the country,” he said, adding, “In times of crisis, the government is not in a popularity contest, but is saving the country.”

AP

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
ebooks
ebooksA celebration of British elections
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant - Dublin (based in London)

£20000 - £25000 per annum + commission: SThree: Real Staffing's Pharmaceutical...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£18000 - £25000 per annum + Commission: SThree: Are you great at building rela...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant - Swiss Banking and Finance

£20000 - £25000 per annum + Uncapped commission: SThree: Can you speak German,...

Ashdown Group: Marketing Executive - 6 month FTC - Central London

£25000 - £30000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: An exciting opportunity f...

Day In a Page

Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living
Increasing numbers of homeless people in America keep their mobile phones on the streets

Homeless people keep mobile phones

A homeless person with a smartphone is a common sight in the US. And that's creating a network where the 'hobo' community can share information - and fight stigma - like never before