The Kyiv Post welcomes feedback about our new website and we stand ready to fix any problems users might encounter in our test phase. Contact us at: news@kyivpost.com or +38-044-591-3344. Thank you!

Share Tweet Pocket Add to Bookmarks
You're reading: Romania locks down for more austerity protests

BUCHAREST - Demonstrators started gathering in central Bucharest on Friday and Romania prepared to deploy riot police over the weekend after a week of anti-austerity protests turned violent.

About 7,000 opposition supporters marched through Bucharest on Thursday, while at a separate demonstration later in the day police fired tear gas against protesters who threw bricks and bottles.. Police detained about 100 people.

Interior ministry spokesman Marius Militaru said it was hard to tell for now whether there would be more protests over the weekend. "All I can tell you is that we will line up riot police for public order on the downtown streets."

The demonstrations began after President Traian Basescu criticised the popular deputy health minister who resigned. The minister, Raed Arafat, has since been reinstated in a failed attempt to calm the situation.

Protesters, angered by austerity measures which include salary cuts and a rise in sales tax, have called for Basescu and his close ally Prime Minister Emil Boc to resign.

Romania is already the European Union’s second-poorest country, with per capita income less than half the bloc’s average, and the austerity measures meant to turn around the country’s troubled finances have hit hard.

The protests – Romania’s most violent in more than a decade – are unlikely to be enough to change policies which are needed to keep International Monetary Fund support and are backed by the leftist opposition USL.

Their size is still well short of the protests which erupted when austerity measures were introduced in 2010, the biggest of which attracted 30,000 people.

But they leave Prime Minister Emil Boc’s ruling PDL in a challenging position as it seeks to regain ground before elections due later this year. Polls give the PDL about 18 percent support compared to 50 percent for the USL.

Found a spelling error? Let us know – highlight it and press Ctrl + Enter.

Advertisement

Add comment

Sorry, you must be logged in to post a comment.
More in this section
Attention

Add a picture
Choose file
Add a quote
Attention

Are you sure you want to delete your comment?

Attention

Are you sure you want to delete all user's comments?

Attention

Are you sure you want to unapprove user's comment?

Attention

Are you sure you want to move to spam user's comment?

Attention

Are you sure you want to move to trash user's comment?

Spelling error report

The following text will be sent to our editors: