BUCHAREST: Daniel Barbu, Romania’s Minister of Culture, resigned on 12 December 2013 after a public statement in which he noted that the budget of the HIV/AIDS programme is half of the budget of the Ministry of Culture.
“In my opinion, this is not South Africa. There are not millions of people affected by this hideous rod of our times. Personally, I don’t get it. I was shaken to find out how many Shakespeare Festivals we could do in Craiova (…) if there wasn’t this programme, or if this programme would receive half of its budget,” Barbu said at a theatre event in Craiova a few days ago.
He issued a public statement afterwards expressing his regrets. A new minister is expected to be announced soon.
In a separate action, the president/general director of the public broadcaster SRTv Claudiu Săftoiu resigned after the Parliament rejected the station’s Activity Report for 2012. According to law, the rejection implies that the Administrative Council will be dismissed, but in his resignation Săftoiu asked the Parliament to keep the Administrative Council.
SRTv had a deficit of approximately 34m EUR at the end of 2012, with 9.15% less than in 2011.
Săftoiu was elected president/general manager of Romanian Public TV by a Parliamentary vote on 2 July 2012. The station has had increasing debt since 2005, and the National Agency for Fiscal Administration blocked its accounts on 21 May 2012. In an effort to recoup the 133m EUR debt, nearly 30 percent of its staff was cut, 980 out of its 3,340 employers in 2012. The management projected that debt would be paid off in 7.5 years.