UPDATE PM Emil Boc announces Government steps down to "ease social tension" in Romania. President Basescu names Justice minister Catalin Predoiu interim PM
He said he and his government made tough decisions "not because we wanted but because we had to".
He said that after two years of economic downturn in 2009 and 2010, Romania ended 2011 with one of the highest growth rates in the EU.
He said he made the decision to step down because he would not stand glued to power and in time of crisis the government would not join a popularity contest but would struggle to save the country.
He thanked the President for his support and thanked Romanians for being "those who really saved Romania, the economy and the country, from economic collapse".
"We were the ones to do the cleaning, we put things in order in the country finances, we improved Romania's health. I think this government has done its duty and it is time to leave room for a new government to pick the fruit of our work and be more popular, because it wouldn't have such toughest decisions to make", he said.
UPDATE President Traian Basescu has named incumbent Justice minister Catalin Predoiu as interim prime minister following Emil Boc's resignation. Predoiu will serve as PM until a new government is formed.