Romanian Agriculture minister Gheorghe Flutur decided on Tuesday to fire Samoila Szabo, the head of the SAPARD agency managing EU funds for farming and infrastructure development in Romania. Szabo was inefficient in his work and his activity should not be seen as a good reason for a recent growth of funding requests registered by SAPARD - Flutur explained his decision.

In an interview for in June this year, Samoila Szabo argued he was not to be blamed for a huge lack of funding requests throughout 2005.

The number of requests started to grow in the second half of last year, 2.5 years late, as „officially SAPARD should have started operations in 2000. The first project was submitted for funding in August 2002 becauze of the organization of the Agency”, Szabo said in the interview.

Marko Bela, the leader of the Democratic Hungarians - UDMR political party, which is a junior member of the governing coalition in Bucharest, the initiative to fire Szabo belonged to UDMR. The group supports Istvan Nagy as a replacement for Szabo at the helm of SAPARD.