Amidst continuing demonstrations against austerity measures in Bucharest, the Romanian government is cleaning house. The Foreign Minister, Teodor Baconschi, was informed of his sacking earlier this week by text message while he was in Brussels for a meeting of the EU Council of Ministers. He was replaced, on short notice, by former Foreign Minister, Cristian Diaconescu.

The Prime Minister criticised Baconschi for some "questionable" writings on his blog, explains leader writer Mircea Vasilescu in Romanian dailyAdevărul. Baconschi wrote that the demonstrators were "issued from derelict neighbourhoods, violent, stupid people similar to the miners of yore who supported the heirs of the Securitate," the Communist-era secret police.

The manner in which the minister was fired, the paper says, is an "uncivilised gesture, it is non-European; the Prime Minister has thus shamed us all, at the highest level".