Decebal Traian Remes, Romania's minister of agriculture and rural development, said yesterday that in the Ministry there was no document certifying the bird flu virus had indeed reached Romania. He added this was why the Ministry of Agriculture was waiting for court sentences favorable to all those who had been at a loss because of it, for the Ministry might not proceed to paying damages without documents and medical test bulletins. The minister mentioned: "In the Ministry of Agriculture we have got no medical proof, no test bulletin to certify the existence of the bird flu beyond doubt. Therefore I may not proceed to pay damages to all those harmed because of the action taken by greedy authorities who wanted to get rich." He argued the Ministry wouldn't address the court against those responsible for "the bird flu hysterics" in Romania, since there had been no losses, as the money spent on measures had come from the state budget.
The ex agriculture minister Gheorghe Flutur replied yesterday and fetched two medical bulletins admitting the bird flu virus in the samples taken from dead poultry in Romania. He described the present minister's hypothesis as "shameless", claiming he didn't "search enough for the documents". (C.P.)