... Romanians have been rioting. Today, according to Reuters, was to be the fifth day of protests that had already erupted into serious violence on both sides this week-end.
The country's worst unrest for more than a decade has seen riot police using tear gas against protesters throwing bricks, smashing windows and setting fire to newspaper stands and rubbish bins in central Bucharest since it began on Thursday.
Thousands of demonstrators gathered peacefully in central Bucharest and other cities on Monday afternoon, demanding Prime Minister Emil Boc and his close political ally President Traian Basescu resign.
The numbers were expected to rise in the evening and analysts predicted more protests but did not see them affecting the austerity measures passed by the ruling coalition's small but stable parliamentary majority.These riots will not, apparently, affect Romania's standing with the markets, and you can take that as you will. I was somewhat amused by the following:
"Five years of European Union membership did not bring anything good, on the contrary, poverty, frozen pensions," Ioan Mendea, a 73-year old former jurist, who ekes out a living from a 900 lei ($260) monthly state pension, told Reuters.
"This government, prime minister, president must go."For a jurist he seems very poorly informed about what the resignation of a government might achieve. I believe the word is nimicz but if any reader knows otherwise I shall stand corrected. The Economist has more, describing the beginnings of the protests, though they have now gone beyond the enforced resignation of one particular not very important minister.
And, inevitably, Prime Minister Emile Boc has called for a dialogue.
To be continued.