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Romanian PM refuses to step down despite criminal probe


Romania

Romanian PM refuses to step down despite criminal probe

Romanian Prime Minister Victor Ponta has refused to step down despite the launch of a criminal investigation against him.

Hundreds protested in the capital Bucharest and even the president asked for his resignation after Ponta was charged with fraud, tax evasion and money laundering when he worked as a lawyer.

Ponta has said only parliament can dismiss him and that the accusations, which he denies, were first made by political enemies.

A former prosecutor who took office in 2012, Ponta faces a general election next year. His government is now pushing a series of disputed tax cuts through parliament and is in fraught talks with international creditors over an aid deal.

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