Romanians Hold Another Protest Against Austerity Cuts

Posted January 20th, 2012 at 1:40 pm (UTC-5)
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Hundreds of people demonstrated in Romania's capital Friday in another day of protests against government spending cuts and other austerity measures.

The protesters in Bucharest voiced their anger at the government of President Traian Basescu and called for early elections.

Romanians have been holding mass anti-government protests in recent days against the austerity cuts, including a controversial health reform bill. Protesters have clashed with police in some of the demonstrations.

The spending cuts are required as part of a multi-billion-dollar loan from the World Bank, the European Union and the International Monetary Fund.

On Thursday, about 7,000 people attended an opposition rally in Bucharest to call for the resignation of the government and President Basescu. Demonstrators voiced their displeasure with losses in jobs and what they perceive as lower pensions

Similar protests on anti-austerity measures have taken place in Greece.

The United States has urged Romanians to avoid violence fueled by anger regarding the austerity measures.

A State Department spokeswoman on Thursday said the U.S. supports the right of people to protest and express their views “peacefully.” But she called on authorities and protesters to refrain from violence.