updated 10/7/2008 6:44:27 PM ET 2008-10-07T22:44:27

A Romanian Cabinet minister was fired Tuesday after he used a government helicopter to make it to his wedding on time.

Romanian Prime Minister Calin Popescu Tariceanu fired Education Minister Cristian Adomnitei, 33, after it emerged that Adomnitei and another minister had attended a government meeting in Bucharest on Saturday, then rode the helicopter 300 miles to Iasi, where Adomnitei was getting married that day.

Using government property for personal reasons is forbidden in Romania. The other minister was traveling on government business.

However, Tariceanu insisted later Tuesday that he fired Adomnitei, who is also a legislator, because he joined a majority of legislators in Parliament last week who voted to raise teachers' salaries by 50 percent.

Tariceanu says the country can't afford that, and Adomnitei later apologized for his vote.

Adomnitei also has been criticized while serving as education minister for a series of gaffes, including speaking Romanian incorrectly and not knowing how many stars are on the European Union flag.

Copyright 2008 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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