Romanian Nightclub fire sparks small-scale political revolution in the country

November 8, 2015
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During the night before Halloween, a violent event shook Romania from the ground up, thus starting what many people have called, a small-scale revolution.

To put things better into perspective, we’re going to briefly tell the story of what may have been the worst event to shake the Eastern European country, since the down of communism, over in the winter of 1989.

The Colectiv Nightclub fire was a deadly fire, occurring on the 30 of October 2015, killing a total of 43 people so far, and injuring around 172. The fire occurred during a concert, organized by a Romanian metalcore band, to celebrate the release of their newest album, Mantras of War. After some time into the concert, the band’s pyrotechnics, which consisted of sparkler like firework candles, usually used on cakes, ignited the club’s flammable acoustic foam. Once this happened, the fire spread rapidly, thus killing a total of 27 people in the night of the fire, and 15 more to this day, who died in hospitals. The Romanian authorities in the capital were overtaken by the high number of victims, thus sparking controversies referring to how the country doesn’t have enough hospitals, because of the Government’s and Parliament’s corruption.

While the cause of the nightclub fire might have been the flammable acoustic coating, it’s worth pointing out that the club did not have the proper documents, from the Fire Inspection Authority. However, the club did file a document stating that they have all the required fire prevention tools, regardless of that not being true.

This issue sparked numerous controversies throughout the country, referring to how businesses can get the authority to run regardless of not having the proper documents, and being able to guarantee the safety of their clients, by bribing the authorities. It’s worth pointing out that in Romania, in the last couple of years, there have been numerous corruption scandals, situated around politicians, many of whom were arrested by the state’s Anti-Fraud Agency. Regardless of this, there are also certain politicians who have been accused of power abuse, bribing, plagiarism, yet refused to give up their position, and used the power conferred by their position, to stay immune to any allegations made towards them by the prosecutors.

The nightclub fire greatly affected the population of the country, which decided to stand up and take things to the streets, where they proceeded to protest against the current political system. After just one day of protests, when around 25,000 people gathered in the University Square, in the centre of Bucharest, the country’s prime-minister, Victor Ponta, decided to resign his position, thus legally forcing all other ministers to give up their portfolio. After this, the population continued their protests, making more demands. Some of these include a technocratic government, with apolitical members, reducing the number of deputes and senators to 300 from 600, dissolving the current Parliament, and reducing corruption in the high-ranks of the country.

Banners raised by protesters said that the population wants a decent standard of life, rather than a criminal state. Another banner read that the political class is both corrupt and inefficient, which is why the country needs a government consisting of technocrats and political experts, rather than actual politicians. During the protests, the people who gathered up also shared a couple of moments of silence, meant as a way of giving peace to those who have been killed during the nightclub fire. Church bells also proceeded to ring out for a couple of minutes, as a way of commemorating the dead.

It’s quite amazing, how a tragic event such as this nightclub fire, has managed to encourage the population of Romania to stand up and list their demands, after years of staying silent, and refusing to protest for the rights that they should be offered.

Today, unfortunately, the number of those killed increased to 43. On Saturday, around 10 people lost their lives, both in Romania, but also abroad, where they were transferred for further and more advanced medical care. At this moment in time, the Romanian government is collaborating with nearby countries to find solution of transporting those who are in critical state, to better hospitals where they can receive more advance medical treatment. To help make this possible, the Romanian Ministry of Defence has offered hospitals access to their transportation planes, which can then be used to take the victims to hospitals situated in other countries, safely.

Based on everything that has been outlined so far, it’s clear that the Colectiv Nightclub Fire will not be forgotten soon by the Romanian people, as it represented the last drop, in a glass already full. Based on everything that has been outlined so far, have you been following the events in Romania, after the nightclub fire? If yes, what’s your honest opinion on them? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below.

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