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UPDATED: 13:41, November 09, 2006
Romania has biggest defense budget since 1990: Defense Minister
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Romania's Ministry of Defense budget for 2007 amounts to 2.2 billion euros (2.82 billion U.S. dollars) after being supplemented with 841 million lei (306.7 million U.S. dollars) on Wednesday, making it the biggest defense budget since 1990, Defense Minister Sorin Frunzaverde announced on Wednesday.

Frunzaverde also said that the new budget accounted for 2.05 percent of the gross domestic product and was 15 percent higher than 2006.

The minister said that the budget would allow his ministry to meet its priority objectives, including supplying two Romanian brigades to serve in NATO.

The brigades were to boost the Romanian Army's participation both in the framework of NATO's Reaction Force and in the EU combat groups, Frunzaverde said.

He underlined that one of the ministry's preoccupations was to raise the standard of living of the army.

The Romanian army is going to have 90,000 staff and become fully professional from January 1, 2007, according to the minister.

Just 83,700 jobs are occupied in the army at present and the remainder will be fulfilled as soon as possible, he noted.

Source: Xinhua

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