Romania's prime minister has sacked his foreign ministers for criticizing anti-government protesters. While there has been sporadic violence, the protests against government austerity measures have been mainly peaceful.
Romanian Prime Minister Emil Boc has fired Foreign Minister Teodor Baconschi over disparaging remarks that he made last week about protesters who took part in recent anti-government rallies.
"I have taken the decision to recall Foreign Minister Teodor Baconschi and have forwarded a proposal to the Romanian president to remove him from his functions for the comments he made," Boc told lawmakers in Bucharest on Monday.
"I sincerely regret the gaffes made by some of my colleagues regarding the demonstrators," Boc added. "I apologize to all Romanians, and I have decided to sack Foreign Minister Teodor Baconschi for his remarks."
Bloc was referring to a statement Baconschi made on his blog last week in which he described some of the protesters as "clueless and inept slum dwellers." He also compared the demonstrations to the riots in London in 2011.
Harsh austerity measures
There has been a series of anti-government demonstrations in the Romanian capital over the past 10 days. The protesters have been calling on President Traian Basecu and his government to resign over a package of austerity measures, which includes a cut of 25 percent to civil servants' salaries and a tax increase.
The government says the measures are needed to keep an International Monetary Fund aid deal on track.
Most of the rallies have been peaceful, but there has been sporadic violence. One demonstration that did turn violent last weekend saw more than 50 people injured clashes between police and protesters.
Author: Chuck Penfold (Reuters, AP, AFP)
Editor: Nancy Isenson
Ten years ago a bridge created a link connecting the formerly divided town of Görlitz on the German side and Zgorzelec on the Polish side. Tourists flock to Görlitz but not really to Zgorzelec. We wanted to know why.
A 24-meter (80-foot) glass panel was unveiled in Berlin's Tiergarten on Tuesday, a monument for the round 300,000 people deemed "unworthy of life" and killed by the Nazis in their infamous euthanasia campaign.
Russia views the prospect of a permanent NATO military presence in Eastern Europe as a major threat, according to a senior Kremlin official. The Western alliance has announced plans to beef up its defense strategy.
It was a cultural catastrophe: 10 years ago, Weimar's Anna Amalia Library caught fire. Director Michael Knoche tells DW about rescuing books with his bare hands and why a valuable Copernicus work only recently turned up.