Romania: Education minster fired over insensitive comments

A protester holds a placard depicting women their mouth covered by tape that reads “Believe us” during a rally in memory of a 15 year-old girl, raped and killed in southern Romania, after police took 19 hours from the moment she called the country’s emergency hotline to intervene, in Bucharest, Romania, Sunday, July 28, 2019. More than one hundred people took part Sunday evening in a protest against the way police handled the case. (AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda)

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BUCHAREST, Romania (AP) — Romania’s prime minister says she has fired the education minister, who made comments considered insensitive about a recent criminal case.

Prime Minister Viorica Dancila said Friday in a Facebook post that Ecaterina Andronescu’s statements reflected an “irresponsible attitude” and “lack of understanding” about the rape and murder of a 15-year-old girl who was kidnapped while hitchhiking.

Andronescu said on a television talk show that “I was taught at home not to get in the car with strangers.”

Dancila said she didn’t want Andronescu’s comments “to be associated with the Cabinet I lead” and warned that other similar instances would be met by her with the same action.

Andronescu said she didn’t mean to blame the victim or her parents.

Culture Minister Daniel Breaz has been appointed interim education minister.

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