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Romania: Three Cabinet Ministers Resign

Bucharest, 20 October 2003 (RFE/RL) -- Three Romanian government ministers have resigned amid allegations of corruption, plagiarism, and conflicts of interest. Prime Minister Adrian Nastase today said he has accepted the resignations of European Integration Minister Hildegard Puwak, Health Minister Mircea Beuran, and Serban Mihailescu, a minister without portfolio.

Nastase said Puwak resigned to minimize difficulties for the government in its negotiations to join the European Union. Puwak has been accused of misdirecting EU funds in favor of close family members.

Beuran's resignation comes after an internal investigation found him guilty of plagiarizing foreign health manuals.

Nastase said Mihailescu quit after his subordinates were involved in allegedly taking bribes.

Nastase said the resignations will hopefully help Romania in its efforts to join the EU by 2007. He said the three will be replaced by interim ministers.