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Romania's defense minister resigns in mix-up, but resignation still accepted

Adrian Tutuianu resigned on Tuesday, saying that his ministry had run out of funds to pay salaries to the military. Within hours, the government said this information was incorrect, but by then his fate had been sealed.

Romania's Defense Minister Adrian Tutuianu put in his papers on Tuesday after saying that there weren't enough funds to pay the wages of military and defense staff.

Tutuianu's statement was swiftly followed by a statement from Romania's Finance Ministry claiming that no government ministry was unable to pay wages because of a shortage of funds. 

However, Prime Minister Mihai Tudose accepted Tutuianu's resignation all the same, saying that his comments had provoked alarm. Tutuianu had only been in the job for two months.

"I have handed in my resignation for the lack of communication," Tutuianu later told a local television channel.

He added that salaries would be paid as usual.

Prime Minister Tudose's government is struggling to find the money to pay for the expensive government programs it promised, news agency dpa reported, citing analysts.

In August, Romania committed to spend 2 percent of gross domestic product on defense until 2026, bringing the country in line with the non-binding targets that NATO recommends for its members.

ap/msh (Reuters, AP, dpa)

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