- POSTED: 12 Dec 2013 21:55
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Romania's Culture Minister Daniel Barbu stepped down Thursday after sparking outrage over comments about AIDS funding, the prime minister's office told AFP.
BUCHAREST: Romania's Culture Minister Daniel Barbu stepped down Thursday after sparking outrage over comments about AIDS funding, the prime minister's office told AFP.
Barbu earlier this week said he "could not help wondering how many Shakespeare festivals could be organised if the (anti-AIDS) programme did not exist or if its budget was halved".
Senate speaker Crin Antonescu on Wednesday said the only conscientious step for Barbu was to resign.
UNOPA, an association supporting people affected by HIV/AIDS, condemned the remarks as of "major offence to patients and to the experts fighting to save their lives".
Barbu later apologised for his comments.
Funding this year for the estimated 12,000 people in Romania living with HIV stood at 45 million euros ($61.7 million), down from 52 million euros in 2012, and was "a far cry from the patients' needs", UNOPA said.