Following a massive and deadly club fire in Bucharest that left 27 dead (now 32), protests erupted in the country of Romania. The protests focused on corruption and reflected the anger of Romania’s citizens.
The club’s promoters were arrested yesterday on suspicion of manslaughter, likely connected to negligence and failure to follow safety regulations within the venue. This comes during a major time of unrest in Romania’s political sector.
While the internal dealings of the country after the end of the Cold War have remained shaky, these are the largest protests since the fall of communism, and they have left a major mark on Romania’s government.
Prime Minister Victor Ponta — who was already under pressure, having been indicted this year on charges of forgery, money laundering and tax evasion — said he was bowing to the will of the more than 20,000 demonstrators who had taken to the streets of Bucharest on Tuesday night to demand his ouster.
It’s difficult to discern whether the protests were wholly caused by the tragedy that occurred this weekend, or whether the club fire was just a flash point needed to create a spark, though it seems more likely to be the latter. In the NY Times’ coverage of the protests and ensuing resignation, the word “fire” referring to the nightclub is used just once – in reference to a frame of time, rather than cause or relevancy.
Regardless, the aftermath of the fire and its effect on the families of those who perished are felt in the protests, and perhaps justice might finally begin to be served.
The resignation of Ponta is only the first step for the Romanian people who are looking to once again have faith in their government. Watch his resignation below.
via New York Times