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Resignations and Discharges

The plane crash in Romania’s Apuseni Mountains, prompted the resignation of several Romanian officials, including the Interior Interior Minister Radu Stroe.

Resignations and Discharges
Foto: rri.ro

Articol de Radio România Internaţional, 25 Ianuarie 2014, 13:33

The resignation of Romania’s Interior Minister Radu Stroe was somewhat predictable, after the tragedy that took place early this week in an isolated location in the Apuseni Mountains in western Romania.

A small airplane was taking a medical team specializing in transplant operations from Bucharest to Oradea, and 2 people lost their lives and 5 others were injured in the crash.

The victims were only found after many hours of searches that involved mountain rescue teams, police, firefighters and locals.

Ironically, at a time of unprecedented technological advancement, the first one to find the victims was a forest ranger.

The authorities that coordinated the rescue efforts thus proved their incompetence, which caused a public outrage. The political consequences were no late in appearing.

Heavily criticized for how his ministry responded to the crisis, the Liberal Radu Stroe stepped down as interior minister.

He claimed his decision was intended to protect the honor and dignity of the firefighters working for the General Inspectorate for Emergency Situations.

Radu Stroe: “These professional rescuers should not suffer because of political decision-makers. As will be proved very quickly, the obligation and responsibility for launching the alert, putting together a rescue plan and locating the crash site belonged to other public institutions.”

Stroe’s resignation was preceded by similar decisions made by the general director and head of operations of the Romanian Air Traffic Service Administration (ROMATSA) and the chief of the General Inspectorate for Emergency Situations.

Prime Minister Victor Ponta described the rescue operations as a failure, and dismissed a secretary of state with the Interior Ministry.

He said the Government would change the current emergency response system:

Victor Ponta: “We cannot continue with the current system, in which the Interior Ministry tries, and only sometimes manages, to coordinate institutions that are subordinated to other ministries or to entirely different branches of public administration, as is the case with the Special Telecommunications Service.”

In turn, the Prosecutor General of Romania Tiberiu Nitu announced the authorities’ response to this crisis might be probed into.

Meanwhile, experts have initiated on-site investigations to identify the cause of the tragedy.

to the investigators, the crash might have been caused by bad weather, a navigation error or technical problems.

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