Romanian PM, Government Resign
Emil Boc steps down in wake of austerity protests
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Feb 6, 2012 8:08 AM CST
In this Jan. 23, 2012 file photo, Romanian Premier Emil Boc adjusts his glasses at the Romanian parliament in Bucharest, Romania.    (Vadim Ghirda)

(Newser) – 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. Opposition politicians called for early parliamentary elections, which are currently scheduled for November.

President Traian Basescu appointed Justice Minister Catalin Predoiu—the only minister in Boc's Cabinet who is not a member of any political party—to be interim prime minister pending the formation of a new government. Parliament has 60 days and two attempts to approve a new government. If it fails, the Parliament is dissolved and new elections will be called. The ruling coalition and its partners from minorities, however, have enough votes to elect a new government. Boc, who became prime minister in 2008, urged Romania's feuding politicians to be mature and rapidly vote for a new government.