It is a scene that is being replicated across Europe. And just like their counterparts further west, Romania’s clerks, nurses and teachers have been feeling the economic medicine of state sector wage cuts and tax hikes.
While the protest is unlikely to sway government policy, some 10,000 gathered in the capital Bucharest to vent their anger.
‘‘All evil is coming from Basescu and his mafia. I want him to resign. If he doesn’t want to do that, then people should bring him down,’‘ one man said.
‘‘I would like to see how Mr Boc (Romanian Prime Minister) and Mr Basescu (Romanian President) manage with 140 euros. They should come here and teach us this.’‘
Stuck between a rock and a hard place, recession-hit Romania has introduced a host of swinging austerity measures in order to obtain a 20 billion euro bailout from the IMF.
But the moves have been deeply unpopular and the government faces a no confidence vote next month.