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News 05 Sep 17

Romania Defence Minister Quits over Military Salary Delay

Romania’s Defence Minister handed in his resignation after announcing that the ministry does not have enough funds to pay the wages of military personnel in September.

Ana Maria Touma
BIRN
Bucharest
Romanian Defence Minister Adrian Tutuianu (centre) at a Romanian military base. Photo: Adrian Tutuianu/Facebook.

Romanian Defence Minister Adrian Tutuianu resigned on Tuesday afternoon after a disagreement with Social Democrat Prime Minister Mihai Tudose over the lack of funds to pay the salaries of military personnel in September.

“I admitted to the prime minister that I was wrong because I did not notify him of the situation. I didn’t do it because I had no time. I take complete responsibility for the situation,” he told Tutuianu after a meeting with Tudose.

The ministry announced on Tuesday in a press release that it would defer the wages of military personnel until September 15 and would pay other benefits by September 25.

Tutuianu said that the ministry does not have financial problems, but the salaries are being delayed because of legal technicalities.

The ministry is not allowed by law to reallocate funds in order to pay salaries, and the reason the salaries will be late is that parliament has yet to discuss its mid-year governmental budget adjustment.

Romania was praised by NATO leaders in 2017 for upping its defence spending to two per cent of GDP.

The country is also on a quest to re-equip its army, which still uses Soviet-era equipment.

The government recently made a deal with the United States for seven Patriot defence systems which will cost Romania $4 billion. 

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