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 Howard Jacobson: Let’s see the 'criticism' of Israel for what it really is
- 2 Gingers face extinction due to climate change, scientists warn
Game of Thrones author George RR Martin says 'f*** you' to fans who fear he will die before finishing Westeros saga
Jennifer Lawrence face palms Emma Watson at Christian Dior show in Paris
Gingers face extinction due to climate change, scientists warn
Pamplona Running of the Bulls 2014: Briton critically injured in San Fermin festival
Elephant 'cries' while being rescued after 50 years of abuse in India
Sustained immigration has not harmed Britons' employment, say government advisers
British jihadist calls for 'flag of Islam' over Downing Street and Buckingham Palace
Australia facing international condemnation after turning around Sri Lankans at sea
7/7 memorial defaced on anniversary of 2005 attacks with ‘Blair lied thousands died’ graffiti
Even when it brutalises one of its own teenage citizens, America is helpless against Israel
There’s a nasty smell in the political air – and it’s coming from the Tories
£25000 per annum: Charter Selection: Exciting sports company with a strong bra...
£33000 - £40000 per annum + bonus + benefits: Ashdown Group: Executive Assista...
£45000 - £50000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: Social Media Director (Gl...
£35000 - £40000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: HR Advisor - 6 Months Fix...