Romanian PM Resigns After 25,000 Protest Following Deadly Nightclub Fire

Romania’s Prime Minister, Victor Ponta, resigned on Wednesday after 25,000 people marched the streets of Bucharest demanding political change after corruption led to a club fire that resulted in 32 dead and hundreds more injured last Friday.

Ponta, alongside the entire Government, resigned after protesters chanted his name, as well as those of other politicians who have failed to make a change for the better. Corruption at all political levels, including the city office, is blamed for the devastating fire that took place in Colectiv club in Bucharest on Friday night.

Economic Ripple

Following the Government’s resignation, local currency RON suffered some devaluation, both against the Euro and the Dollar. The exchange rate published by the National Bank of Romania at noon, just hours after the announcement was made by the Prime Minister, indicates that Euro rose 0.32% compared to the previous day, while the Dollar had a steeper climb of 0.84%.

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According to specialists, the situation is expected to remain stable for the next few days despite the Prime Minister’s resignation. Financial analyst and honorary advisor of Prime Minister Ponta Ionel Blanculescu told Insider Monkey that today’s exchange rate fluctuations were a simple emotional response to the political situation and have no grounds in the country’s economic situation.

There is danger for the country’s currency, however, if the situation worsens over the next few days and Romania plunges into a political crisis. This is only possible, however, if there’s a delay in naming a new Prime Minister.

By the way, if you have time, please read our article about the best places to visit in Romanie before you die.

Massive Protests

On November 30, during a rock concert of popular band Goodbye to Gravity, a fire quickly spread in club Colectiv in downtown Bucharest. 32 people have already died and over 130 are in the hospital, most in critical condition with terrible burns.

According to official sources, the club shouldn’t have been allowed to open its doors to more than 80 people, but on the night of the fire there were between 400 and 500 people inside, attending a rock concert by popular rock band Goodbye to Gravity. This is blamed on the corruption of country’s officials and on the carelessness of the authorities who never checked the club. The three owners of the club have already been arrested for the death of the 32 young people and the endangerment of the others.

After several days of mourning, people took to the streets in a massive prostest where some 25.000 people are estimated to have participated in Bucharest alone. The resignations of the Prime Minister and the district’s mayor were demanded during the protests, as well as that of Gabriel Oprea, vice prime minister. Oprea was recently accused of illegally traveling with a motorcade, which led to the death of a police officer in an accident. Although his resignation has been demanded repeatedly over the past several weeks, he denied any blame in the situation.

Protesters have promised to take to the streets for more days from here on out, not only in Bucharest, but also other Romanian cities, asking the change of the entire political class.