Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Disturbing Health Care Bill and Eerie Austerity Policies Lead to Violent Protests in Romania

BUCHAREST, Romania (Bennington Vale Evening Transcript) -- After five days of violent clashes between riot police and demonstrators protesting Romania's "eerie" austerity measures, Prime Minister Emil Boc warned of severe consequences if the aggression continues. The unrest, which left 59 people injured, is the worst seen in the country since the fifteenth century, when an outbreak of anemia and porphyria caused peasants to the storm the castle of the principality's ruling count. On Monday, thousands of protesters peacefully assembled to call for the ouster of Prime Minister Emil Boc and his close political ally President Traian Basescu. The dissent initiated in support of the deputy health minister's resignation over a controversial piece of proposed health care legislation. But even after the government canceled the bill, the demonstrations devolved into a general expression of discontent with "disturbing" austerity policies and poverty.

Romania generates less revenue than many other EU nations and, according to insiders, has largely relied on the charity of an eccentric aristocrat in Transylvania who offers financial assistance in exchange for virgin teens to serve as his housekeeping staff. The wealthy benefactor was instrumental in drafting a key provision in the disputed health care bill, which called for Romanian citizens to bank several pints of blood every eight weeks in order to meet eligibility requirements for the country's socialized medical programs.

(c) 2011. See disclaimers.

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