Romania’s government collapsed Monday following weeks of protests against austerity measures, the latest debt-stricken government in Europe to fall in the face of raising public anger over biting cuts.
Emil Boc, who had been prime minister since 2008, said he was resigning “to defuse political and social tension” and to make way for a new government. Thousands of Romanians took to the streets in January to protest salary cuts, higher taxes and the widespread perception that the government was not interested in the public’s hardships in this nation of 22 million.
President Traian Basescu quickly appointed Justice Minister Catalin Predoiu, the only Cabinet member unaffiliated with a political party, as interim prime minister to serve until a new government is approved.
BBC’s Lyse Doucet in Tahrir Square: “The anger that has been mounting for many months has now boiled over”
Egypt’s cabinet has offered to resign after three days of protests against the country’s military rulers, state media have reported.
Cabinet spokesman Mohammed Hegazy said the resignation had not yet been accepted by the military council.
As he spoke, thousands of people swelled crowds of protesters in Cairo’s Tahrir Square.
More than 20 people have been killed and nearly 1,800 injured in three days of violence in the Egyptian capital.
Egyptian activist groups have been demanding the military council hand power to a civilian government.
“The government of Prime Minister Essam Sharaf has handed its resignation to the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces,” cabinet spokesman Mohammed Hegazy said in a statement carried by the official Mena news agency.
“Owing to the difficult circumstances the country is going through, the government will continue working.”
The BBC’s Jon Leyne in Cairo says the issue now for the military is whether it is prepared to appoint a new cabinet and give its members greater powers.
The biggest criticism in recent days has been that the military has taken too much power for itself, he adds.
A military source told Reuters that the council was seeking agreement on a new prime minister before it accepted the resignation.
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