Corruption is the plague and there is not much time left for citizens to allow it anymore. Romania’s president nominated former EU Commissioner Dacian Ciolos as the nation’s new prime minister Tuesday, after protests over a nightclub fire that killed at least 48 people brought down the government.
“Victor Ponta is giving up his mandate. Someone needs to assume responsibility for what has happened. This a serious matter and we promise a quick resolution of the situation,” party head Liviu Dragnea told journalists in parliament, Reuters reported. “You probably noticed thousands of people last evening and what they demanded,” he added.
President Klaus Iohannis said Romania needs “a clean person, a person not involved in scandals, a person of integrity.”
Protests broke out late on Nov. 3 in the Romanian capital of Bucharest, and demonstrators demanded Cabinet resignations over allegations of corrupt permitting that led to a nightclub fire and 32 deaths, Reuters reported.
The demonstrators specifically demanded the resignation of Romanian Prime Minister Victor Ponta, Deputy Prime Minister Gabriel Oprea and the mayor of the district where the nightclub is located.
Stratfor sources indicate that as many as 20,000 people gathered in Bucharest, and youth and student organizations called for more participants on social media. Similar demonstrations have broken out simultaneously in Brasov and Ploiesti. The government passed legislation on Nov. 3 that would grant the power to emergency authorities to immediately close venues that do not have permits or defy safety regulations. The three nightclub owners have declined to comment.
On Wednesday evening, thousands massed in Bucharest’s University Square and in at least three other cities, calling for early elections and better governance.
Donors queued at blood centres and volunteers took food and drinks to Bucharest hospitals for medical staff and victims’ families.
The protesters also criticized the powerful Romanian Orthodox Church, accusing it of failing to address an outpouring of national grief.
“We want hospitals, not cathedrals!” they chanted.
The ensuing political fallout has alread, claimed Ponta who is awaiting trial on charges of corruption made in June.
District mayor Cristian Popescu Piedone said he would build a monument outside Colectiv. He said that “as far as the local authority was concerned, the club had all the necessary paperwork”.
On the other hand, romanian citizens claim that bribes were paid to mantain the clubs open, while not even a fire estinguisher was found in the inside. That is clearly the point.