Jan 16 - Romanian protesters clash with riot police in the capital in demonstrations against government austerity measures. Marie-Claire Fennessy reports.
PLEASE NOTE THIS MATERIAL CONTAINS CONVERTED 4:3 MATERIAL Clashes break out between riot police and protesters in the Romanian capital, on the fourth day of demonstrations against government austerity measures. Over 50 people needed medical assistance. The protests began on Thursday in support of the deputy health minister who resigned over a draft healthcare reform bill. The cabinet withdrew the bill the next day but this did little to appease the demonstrators. People returned to the streets to show their general anger at spending cuts and a fall in living standards. While the nation's prime minister called for calm, the opposition called for the president's resignation. (SOUNDBITE) NATIONAL LIBERAL PARTY PRESIDENT, CRIN ANTONESCU, SAYING (Romanian) : "The political solution is organising early elections. People on the streets everywhere in Romania -- from Bucharest to Timisoara from Constanta to Cluj -- are asking for the president's resignation, the government's resignation; changing a parliament that totally compromised itself in the eyes of the citizens, voters and public opinion of Romania." The government has taken measures needed under the two year aid deal led by the IMF to shore up the nations finances and stabilise the currency. But the measures have been deeply unpopular as the countrys' economy recovers from a two-year recession. Marie-Claire Fennessy, Reuters