BUCHAREST, Romania, April 7 (UPI) -- The number of Romanians using social aid has almost half of the population drawing money each month, a newspaper reported Wednesday.
The Adevarul newspaper report said some 9.5 million people, or roughly half of the population, are receiving welfare, unemployment, housing and central heating aid, or other supplemental benefits.
That equates to a national expense of $3.2 billion a year, the report said.
The newspaper said there are some 670,000 elder people and children with healthcare problems receiving federal assistance.
The report said heightened awareness of government benefits appeared to be a factor in the surge in recipients. Fewer than 80,000 Romanians were receiving one of more of the 50 social benefits in 1992, while the number rose to 670,000 last year, the report said.