Romania's PM resigns over austerity protests

Emil Boc stands down after weeks of demonstrations against his government's anti-austerity measures.


    Emil Boc, Romania's prime minister, has resigned after weeks of nationwide protests against a slew of austerity measures and months before a parliamentary election.

    "It is the moment for important political decisions. From this point of view, I took the decision to give up the government's mandate," Boc said in a speech after a government meeting on Monday.

    Boc enforced the cuts, including slashing public salaries by a quarter and raising sales tax, to complete a $26.24bn International Monetary Fund (IMF) bailout deal and boost the economy after a deep and bitter recession.

    Thousands of Romanians have braved freezing temperatures in the last month to protest against Boc and his ally, President Traian Basescu.

    The popularity of Boc's centrist PDL party has sunk to less than 20 per cent, according to opinion polls, with a parliamentary election due later this year.

    Victor Ponta, leader of the leftist USL opposition alliance, told the Reuters news agency last week he wanted an early election and was committed to working with the IMF.

    The opposition alliance has more than 50 per cent support in opinion polls.

    SOURCE: Agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Interactive: How does your country vote at the UN?

    Interactive: How does your country vote at the UN?

    We visualised 1.2 million votes at the UN since 1946. What do you think are the biggest issues facing the world today?

    'We were forced out by the government soldiers'

    'We were forced out by the government soldiers'

    We dialled more than 35,000 random phone numbers to paint an accurate picture of displacement across South Sudan.

    Interactive: Plundering Cambodia's forests

    Interactive: Plundering Cambodia's forests

    Meet the man on a mission to take down Cambodia's timber tycoons and expose a rampant illegal cross-border trade.