Romania's President Traian Basescu said on Monday he asked foreign intelligence service head Mihai-Razvan Ungureanu to form a new government and seek parliament's vote of confidence.

The nomination comes after Prime Minister Emil Boc resigned earlier on Monday, seeking to soften the anger of thousands of Romanians who have protested against sharp austerity measures for weeks.

Ungureanu, a 43-year-old historian and former foreign minister, has ten days to form a cabinet and draft a governing programme and ask parliament for a vote of confidence, which he has a good chance to secure from the governing centrist coalition that controls a functioning parliament majority.

(Reporting by Luiza Ilie; Editing by Radu Marinas)