Europe

Romania minister: State can't afford high parent leave pay

Romania's labor minister says the country can't afford to pay large sums to parents who take leave to raise children under age 2.

Olguta Vasilescu said Tuesday that about 3,500 Romanians were receiving 5,000 to 10,000 lei ($1,200 to $3,400) a month in parental leave pay and about 600 were getting more than 10,000 lei.

Vasilescu suggests a limit of 8,000 lei ($1,920) per month.

She said: "The state is being defrauded, which is something we certainly can't accept."

A March 2016 law called for the state to pay one parent per family 85 percent of their earnings while they are raising their babies and young toddlers. The law limited the payments to 3,400 lei ($815) monthly, but the center-left government that took office in January abolished the ceiling.