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Romania protester flings himself from balcony

December 23, 2010 12:00:00 AM PST
Dramatic pictures out of Romania show a protester who flung himself from a Parliament balcony on Thursday.The man, identified as Adrian Sobaru, stood on the balcony, and then he leapt 23 feet down. A photographer snapped shots while the man was mid-air. He hit the floor with a thud shortly after Prime Minister Emil Boc had greeted lawmakers.

Authorities said the man's injuries were not life threatening, and as emergency workers took him out on a stretcher, the television engineer shouted, "Freedom!"

The stunt was apparently in protest over government budget cuts that had affected the man's family. Romania is mired in recession and the government recently cut public sector wages by one-quarter. The country's economy is expected to decline by 2 percent this year, after contracting by 7.1 percent in 2009. The cuts have angered many Romanians.

No one else was injured by the stunt.

Sobaru's dramatic gesture shocked lawmakers, some of whom wept. Boc looked startled and, along with other lawmakers, rushed over to Sobaru.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.


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