News review of the day – November 6th

80 persons still in critical condition one week after the nightclub fire that killed 32

One week after the nightclub fire in Bucharest that killed 32 people, more than 80 wounded persons are still in critical condition. A total of 130 patients are receiving medical care in several hospitals around the capital.

Romania’s Health Minister Nicolae Banicioiu has announced they have undergone skin transplants and surgeries meant to help them breathe following respiratory tract injuries they suffered. The Romanian state is going to pay the bills for the wounded that choose to be treated abroad in several countries that offered to provide medical assistance. Interim Prime Minister Sorin Cîmpeanu has stated that hospitals in Romania can offer both medical expertise and logistics for their recovery but some of the patients chose to be treated in the Netherlands and Belgium. Israel, Germany, France, UK , Portugal and the Czech Republic are also among countries that offered medical help.

Meanwhile, prosecutors have completed the investigation on the scene of the tragedy and have heard 147 witnesses and aggrieved parties. The have also issued warrants for several persons who are going to be brought for further investigations.


At the same time, President Klaus Iohannis has had a new series of consultations today with representatives of political parties and, for the first time, with delegates of civil organizations and protesters, in order to come up with solutions for a new Cabinet, after the resignation on Wednesday of PM Victor Ponta following protests by thousands in Bucharest over the nightclub fire.

Statement by President Klaus Iohannis following consultations for a new Cabinet

Klaus Iohannis: The first round of consultations, and not only political ones, as this time there’s been a particular aspect, is over. The last participants I welcomed here represent the civil society and the protesters. I will talk first about this last meeting which in my opinion was very constructive. It was very good, the people came up with very good ideas, well-thought concepts, approaches that prove very useful to me in this stage. I will consider most of these ideas and present them to the political parties.

One thing was obvious during the talks with representatives of the NGOs and protesters, that expectations are numerous and all of them are certainly justified, but in this stage we can ascertain, I can ascertain once more, that a mere replacement of the Cabinet is not sufficient.There is a need for a complex changeover in the Romanian politics. Everyone, I mean absolutely everyone, expects to see new faces, politicians that had nothing to do with corruption, that have not been prosecuted, that have not dealt with questionable business. These things are clear and I can tell you they have been clearly understood as well by political leaders I met these days.

During this last meeting I received multiple invitations to go among the protesters and I promised I would, but I am not going to announce the hour, not even the day as I am not willing to transform this into a media event, I want to go talk to simple people protesting in the streets, to hear what they expect from me and from the political class.

During talks with political leaders I was glad to notice a few things: everyone understood this is more than a change of Cabinet. Everyone understood that voters or „the street” as it’s being said, expect changes in the political approach. They expect more cleanliness, more sobriety, more solutions and more political transparency. These things whave been well-understood and I was glad. I have also noticed and you probably have too, from the statements made after each round, that no one came up with a name for a Prime Minister. This is something new in the Romanian politics. No one came with fixed ideas, everyone was open to solutions that are both expected and desired. I have agreed upon a few things with each group and I want to make them public now.

A single round of consultations is not enough, this time, because the situation is special. One name is not by far enough, on the contrary, coming up with a name is relatively simple. What we want to achieve is agree upon the approach to be used. We first need to know how we approach this matter. There are many ways, of course. Early elections, political PM, apolitical PM, a so-called tehnocrat. There have been all kind of proposals.

My conclusion after this first round of consultations is that most political leaders are willing to discuss early elections. Most political leaders are willing to discuss a tehnocratic Cabinet. Almost nobody is willing to discuss a political Cabinet, which is again something new. That is why, no party came with a proposal for the Prime Minister.

These conclusions, simple as they may sound, are extremely important and they need to be further discussed and negociated. Regardless of the choice we make – early elections or tehnocratic Cabinet – it is obvious that political parties have to agree upon a minimum programme, about things to be worked on next: the state budget, hospitals, schools and so on. These things need to be agreed upon with political parties.

I am being optimistic, I will convoke a new round of consultations for early next week and I believe we can manage to come up with a conclusion to be presented to the public by the end of the week.

Thank you!

Bianca Ioniţă