Romanian PM Emil Boc announced on Monday he and his government would step down in an attempt to "ease the social tension" and avoid interfering with the "economic stability of the country". He urged politicians to help a new Government go through Parliament approval as fast as possible and recalled that both the European Commission and the IMF expect Romania to have a higher economic growth than the Euro zone this year.

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.