Connect to share and comment

Romania's PM calls for unity as thousands protest

Romanians rallied in Bucharest to demand the government resign over its tough austerity measures.

Romania protest 2012 24 01Enlarge
Protesters shout as a background banner reads 'Freedom, Early Elections' during an anti-governmental and anti-presidential rally in Piata Victoriei square in Bucharest, on January 24, 2012. (DANIEL MIHAILESCU/AFP/Getty Images)

Romania's prime minister called for unity as thousands protested against the government's tough austerity measures, the Associated Press reported.

On Tuesday, protestors in Bucharest demanded Prime Minister Emil Boc and President Traian Basescu resign. About 2,000 teachers, nurses, retired army officers and trade unionist rallied outside the government's headquarters, according to Reuters

"I want to regain my dignity, I want this dictatorship formed by president and prime minister to fall," said Otilia Dobrica, a kindergarten teacher and part-time secretary who earns about $420 a month.

Demonstrations have spread across the country in the past two weeks as anger mounts over increased taxes and cuts to wages in the public sector.

The ruling party has lost much of its popularity ahead of November's parliamentary elections.

About 5,000 people rallied in the northeast city of Iasi and called for early elections.

In Bucharest's Piata Victoriei square, protesters shouted "Freedom, Early Elections" during Tuesday's anti-government rally.

Boc has made some concessions, though.

More from GlobalPost: Romania fires foreign minister

On Monday, he fired the country's foreign minister after Teodor Baconschi called protesters "inept and violent slum dwellers," and compared them to miners who took to the streets of Romania in the 1990s.

Cristian Diaconescu, a former justice and foreign minister and will replace Baconschi.

More from GlobalPost: Romanian PM warns protestors

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/europe/120124/romanias-pm-calls-unity-thousands-protest