Romanian Transport minister Ioan Rus sparked outrage both at home and abroad as he told a TV news channel on Wednesday night that people leaving for work abroad may get a 1,500 euro salary - but for this money their children become hooligans and their wives turn "whores". Following political and public outcry to his statements, he said on Thursday that he might ask the prime minister to accept his resignation.

Ioan RusFoto: captura Digi24
  • UPDATE PM Victor Ponta announced on Facebook on Thursday afternoon that he accepted Rus' resignation.

His comments came prior to a vote in the Parliament on Friday on a censure motion regarding the abuse of voting in Romanian Diaspora in the presidential elections last year. The presidential vote abroad sparked huge outrage as, under the supervision of authorities coordinated by the government of Victor Ponta, who was running in the elections, the organisation of the poll in many European cities with large Romanian communities prevented a huge amount of people from casting their ballot. Ponta's rival, Klaus Iohannis, eventually beat Ponta and became president.

In his statement for Digi 24 news channel on Wednesday evening, minister Rus said Romania had about 3 million workers abroad, of which "about 1 million are ironsmiths, concrete workers, builders and so on. They have jobs in constructions works across Europe. They might have a salary of 1,500 euro. For this money, their children at home become hooligans and their wife a whore.".

On Thursday, his Transport Ministry claimed Rus in fact wanted to draw attention on a harsh reality of Romania today and that during the TV show Rus said his words were a "licence".

And he is quoted as saying he was sorry if he offended anyone, but that his intention was to signal a serious situation in many Romanian families.