Romania: PM Victor Ponta resigns

Romania’s Prime Minister Victor Ponta has resigned.

Pressure has been piling on Ponta for the last month. In October 2015, he lost the Social Democratic Party (PSD) leadership to Liviu Dragnea amid a tax fraud scandal and became the country’s first sitting premier to stand trial for corruption.

The final straw appears to have been last Friday’s (October 30) fire at a nightclub in the capital. As the death toll rose to 32, some 20,000 people took to the streets of Bucharest to demand the resignation of cabinet members.

Dragnea, announced the imminent resignation.

“Victor Ponta is giving up his mandate. Someone needs to assume responsibility for what has happened. This is a serious matter and we promise a quick resolution of the situation,” he told reporters in parliament.

“You probably noticed thousands of people last evening and what they demanded.”

Protesters blamed government corruption and poor safety precautions for the death toll, saying there was only a single door exit to evacuate the club.

Of the 130 people still hospitalised, dozens are said to be in a serious or critical condition.

euronews               November 4, 2015