7 Feb 2012

PM resigns in Romania

10:15 am on 7 February 2012

Prime Minister Emil Boc of Romania has resigned after three weeks of street protests against his government.

The prostestors were against drastic austerity measures.

Mr Boc, 45, said he wanted to defuse political and social tension in the country.

The resignation came a day after a joint mission of the International Monetary Fund and the European Union praised his government for reforms.

The BBC reports Mr Boc imposed a 25% cut in public sector wages and a freeze on pensions. Sales tax was also increased to 24%.

President Traian Basescu has since named the head of the intelligence service chief as the next prime minister.

The BBC reports the nomination of Mihai Razvan Ungureanu now requires approval by Romania's parliament.

Mr Ungureanu has a master's degree from Oxford University and was foreign minister between 2004 and 2007 during Mr Basescu's first term of office.

Elections in Romania are scheduled to take place in November, but a BBC correspondent says they are likely to be brought forward to the summer.