Thousands of trade unionists and their allies took to the streets of Romania for the twelfth consecutive day over the pro-EU government's austerity drive.
Some 5,000 people jeered the government in Iasi, calling for early elections.
Thousands also massed outside government offices in Bucharest to rally against harsh austerity measures and marched to the headquarters of the public television station, which they accused of having a pro-government bias.
PM Emil Boc called on Romanians to work together to overcome economic hardship.
But the trade unionists, teachers, nurses and retired army officers who rallied in the capital's Victory Square were unimpressed.
Otilia Dobrica, a nursery teacher and part-time secretary who earns £270 per month, said: "I want to regain my dignity, I want this dictatorship formed by president and prime minister to fall."
Romania's right-wing government agreed to bump up taxes and slash public-sector pay in 2009 in return for a €20-billion (£16.7bn) loan from the IMF, European Union and World Bank.
The following year the government bumped up sales tax from 19 to 24 per cent, and cut the wages of people employed by the government by a quarter.
A young Romanian army officer became a symbol of the protest on Monday evening.
Lieutenant Alexandru Gheorghe's call for the nation's dignity to be restored attracted widespread attention because it is illegal for army personnel to protest publicly.
Lt Gheorghe said he travelled some 312 miles to Bucharest from his military base to join the protesters.
"I can no longer bear the way we are insulted," by the current government, he said in comments broadcast on Antena 3 TV.
"I saw old people beaten in the protests and said to myself that we, the officers, who could die tomorrow in a mission in Afghanistan, must have the courage to fight and tell the truth here in our country."
Bucharest has deployed about 1,700 troops in Afghanistan as part of the US-led occupation force.
The defence ministry said it was investigating what action to take against Lt Gheorghe.
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