Romanian prime minister to resign over protests
Monday 06 February 2012
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.”
- 1 Man on naked bike ride gets ejected after becoming aroused
- 4 Ann Summers survey reveals the UK's favourite sex position
- 5 Ayyan Ali: Pakistan's top model now appears in the courtroom rather than on the catwalk
Man on naked bike ride gets ejected after becoming aroused
Caitlyn Jenner's mother Ester thought her daughter, formerly known as Bruce Jenner, had transitioned for money
Charles Kennedy 1959-2015: A gifted, compassionate politician whose career was cut short by the 'demon drink' - latest news
Charles Kennedy dead: A guy once asked the Lib Dem leader who his favourite Muppet was and his letter response was wonderful
Jaden Smith wears gender fluid dress to high school prom with Hunger Games actress
Thousands of teenage girls enduring debilitating illnesses after routine school cancer vaccination
Migrants in Kos: Photos show real tragedy after Brits abroad complain of 'awkward' holidays
British tourists complain that impoverished boat migrants are making holidays 'awkward' in Kos
Michael Gove determined to scrap the Human Rights Act – even if Scotland retains it
Threat to scrap Human Rights Act could see UK follow Nazi example, warns UN official
Why this year's general election was the most unfair in Britain's history
£18000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Sales Executive is required t...
£35000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you inspired to bring new a...
£14000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...
£15000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company are a world leadin...