Some 20,000 people have protested against Moldova's government, days after the International Monetary Fund said it would not negotiate a new loan agreement with the pro-European leadership which says it needs the money to pay salaries and pensions.

Two pro-Russian parties organized Sunday's protest, the latest demonstration since Sept. 6 when tens of thousands protested government policies and called for early elections.

Protesters shouted "down with the thieves!" and at least 30 tents were erected in front of Moldova's Parliament.

In a sign of tensions, police guarded the country's main institutes.

An IMF mission began a two-week visit on Sept. 22, a day after Moldova's central bank governor Dorin Dragutanu resigned following protests over $1.5 billion that disappeared from three Moldovan banks before parliamentary elections in November last year.