Romanian protesters clash with riot police

By REUTERS
January 16, 2012 06:12

BUCHAREST - Romanian riot police used tear gas against protesters who threw rocks and set fire to newspaper stands and rubbish bins in central Bucharest in a fourth day of street demonstrations against government austerity measures on Sunday.

Protesters also gathered peacefully in several large cities across Romania, including Cluj, Timisoara and Iasi, calling for the resignation of President Traian Basescu and the centrist government of Prime Minister Emil Boc.

The protests began across the country on Thursday in support of a deputy health minister who resigned after criticizing a controversial draft healthcare reform bill that would have added private firms to the state health sector.

The cabinet withdrew the bill on Friday, but that did little to assuage the demonstrators, who returned to the streets to express general discontent with spending cuts and falling living standards.


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