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Romanian government falls in no-confidence vote

Romania's government collapsed, losing a vote of confidence just two months after taking office.

Romanian government falls in no confidence vote april 2012Enlarge
A picture taken on April 25, 2012 shows Romanian Prime Minister Mihai Razvan Ungureanu (bottom-L) standing next to members of Romania's Government at the Romanian Parliament in Bucharest. Romania's center-right government was toppled on April 27 by a no-confidence motion tabled by the left-leaning opposition, putting at risk crucial reforms expected by international lenders. (DANIEL MIHAILESCU/AFP/Getty Images)

Romania's government collapsed on Friday, losing a vote of no confidence just two months after taking office, according to Reuters.

The center-right government's collapse could mean months of political turmoil and throws the IMF-approved austerity program into doubt.

The Associated Press said the no-confidence vote was the result of opposition parties listening to public anger over austerity measures, corruption and cronyism.

Bloomberg noted that the opposition Social Democrats and Liberals accused to government of lack of transparency in selling state-owned assets, as well as in approving money for local authorities.

Around 235 lawmakers voted against the government, led by Prime Minister Mihai Razvan Ungureanu, said the AP.

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Victor Ponta, the opposition leader, said the vote of no confidence was an end "of an abusive system that uses any weapon possible," according to the AP. He added, "Sometimes there is justice. Today there was justice."

Austerity measures in Romania, the European Union's second poorest country, included cuts in salaries and increases in sales tax, said Reuters.

Ungureanu's predecessor, Emil Boc, slashed wages by 25 percent and increased taxes to meet the international pledges, said Bloomberg. Boc resigned on Feb. 6 after violent anti-austerity protests.

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President Traian Basescu most now nominate a new prime minister who can gain parliament's support.

Romania's currency, the leu, hit an all low after the vote.

Romania secured a 5 billion euro ($6.61 billion) precautionary loan from the IMF and the EU in 2011 to shield it from the eurozone debt crisis, said Bloomberg.

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/europe/120427/romanian-government-falls-no-confidence-vote