Romania tightens welfare rules

Feb. 1, 2012 at 4:32 PM

BUCHAREST, Romania, Feb. 1 (UPI) -- New standards for public benefits in Romania, including strict limits on property ownership, are aimed at the Roma, Gypsy King Florin Cioaba said.

Cioaba said the new rules are "simply draconian," the Romanian Times reported. He said they would disqualify thousands of poor people, many of them Roma or gypsies.

"It is inadmissible that a poor person doesn't receive social benefits if one has a 9-year old motor or over 25 chickens, which help him survive," Cioaba said.

The new regulations disqualify those who own art objects or more than a couple of ounces of gold or precious stones. Benefits recipients must also be taxpayers.

The Labor Ministry said the goal of the changes is to reduce fraud. Officials point to statistics that show that almost 8 million people in a country of less than 20 million are receiving benefits, while only 5.2 million are employed.

Like Us on Facebook for more stories from UPI.com  
Related UPI Stories
Latest Headlines
Top Stories
Pilot in Taiwan plane crash shut down wrong engine, black boxes show
Texas police body cam video shows fatal shooting
Law enforcement gives 'all clear' after U.S. Navy Yard lockdown
Talks with NKorea come with conditions, says White House advisor
North Korea seeks help from Iran in battle against drought