Romania's prime minister has resigned after weeks of nationwide protests of his government's tough austerity measures.
Addressing his Cabinet Monday, Prime Minister Emil Boc said he will give up his mandate, saying he is resigning to "ease the social situation."
Boc's announcement follows protests by thousands of Romanians who have braved freezing temperatures in the past month to voice their anger at his government over spending cuts and other austerity measures.
Although most of the protests were peaceful, some clashes between demonstrators and police turned violent.
The spending cuts were required as part of a multi-billion-dollar loan from the World Bank, the European Union and the International Monetary Fund.
A parliamentary election is due late this year. The opposition has been calling for the vote to be held earlier.
Romania joined the European Union in 2007.
Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.