(Published by Euractiv)
Romanian Prime Minister Victor Ponta stepped down to take responsibility for the nightclub fire on the night of 29 October that had claimed the lives of 32 people by Tuesday (3 November) and set off protests nationwide.
Angry about the way authorities grant permits and inspect public venues, protesters poured into the streets late into Tuesday night, carrying banners saying “Corruption Kills” and chanting “Murderers!”. In Bucharest, an estimated 25,000 people marched to the government headquarters, and the interior ministry, earlier in the day.
“This tragedy shows once again how fire safety measures are recklessly ignored in indoor public gathering spaces”, says Juliette Albiac, Managing Director of Fire Safe Europe. “Fire safety is not only an issue for Romanian authorities, but for the EU as a whole. With 32 victims and counting, what is the EU doing to address fire risks and protect its citizens?”