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Romania govt survives no-confidence motion
BUCHAREST (Reuters) - Romania's coalition government survived a no-confidence vote over IMF-backed wage reforms as expected on Thursday, paving the way for the country to receive fresh loans in January and subsequently strike a new aid deal.
Prime Minister Emil Boc has survived four no-confidence motions this year, allowing his fragile coalition to push ahead with reforms to keep a 20 billion euro bailout on track, which it says is key to maintain investors' trust and lift the economy out of recession.
"The government survived this motion. There were 247 parliament members present, but no one cast a ballot," Dumitru Pardau, a member of the counting committee told Reuters.
Debates were briefly suspended earlier on Thursday after a public television employee jumped off the hall's balcony to protest at the government's austerity drive, including wage cuts and tax hikes in the recession-hit economy.
State news agency Agerpres said the man, a father of two in his forties, was seriously injured. He was wearing a shirt with the words: "You killed our children's future, you sold us".
Analysts say the incident showed mounting popular discontent in Romania, the European Union's second poorest member, and opposition to International Monetary Fund-backed cost-cutting measures it says are needed to rein in a vast fiscal gap.
It also signals that Boc may still struggle to push through more austerity next year, required to begin talks on a new international aid deal once the current one expires in March.
"This action is isolated but events like this prove that Romanians' lack of tolerance for the entire burden the government is putting on their shoulders has reached a dangerous limit," said independent political analyst Bogdan Teodorescu.
Romania's parliament approved on Wednesday an austere 2011 budget that will further cut the country's fiscal gap.
(Additional reporting by Ioana Patran; Editing by Elizabeth Fullerton)
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