Some 30 Romanians in the US gathered in a protest in front of the Romanian consulate in New York on Thursday. Organizers say this is just the first out of a series of events that will continue until the referendum day, on May 19.

During the meeting in Manhattan, protesters read a message addressed by the suspended president Basescu to all Romanians in the US, thanking them for their "civic lucidity" and for their support "in the fight for a better life".

Basescu's letter read that "although Romania is now a part of the European Union, some accounts from the past were not closed yet" and asked the Romanians in the US to chose "between a prosperity-oriented democracy, based on work and personal merits and politics with strings pulled by the oligarchs"