It seems as if every new PSD government has to go through a baptism of fire. The latest such event has luckily resulted in no deaths. One of the club founders (or former co-owners) is Catalin Botezatu, which translated word-by-word is Baptized, Cat.
While the Colectiv fire was demonstrably caused by pyrotechnics, most online postings seem to point to smoking and flouting of the antismoking law as the cause of the fire that decimated the Bamboo nightclub Friday, January 20.
That was a seismic event, causing widespread protests that gave Romania arguably the best government (for 1 year) in its recent history (and, considering Romania’s troubled past, possibly ever). I was hoping it had also resulted in a better compromise between laws, regulations and having fun, but it’s obvious that the sweet spot is yet to be found.
What evidence am I talking about?
- First, in the photo posted above by the club’s official owner, Joshua Castellano (his first name is not really Joshua but something Italian that I cannot remember, “Giosuge” methinks) on Facebook on May 7, 2016, he can be seen with a cigar in his hand, openly defying the anti-indoor-smoking law that had been enforceable since March 17, 2016. The owner has a long criminal file in Italy, with arrests dating back to 1988 for Mafia-connected activities, money-laundering, arms trafficking, blackmail, drugs trafficking.
- Witnesses confirm that smoking inside the club was rampant in the night of the event (“Feel the Friday”), either openly or with cigarettes “hidden in the open palm”
- The three most recent reviews of the club on TripAdvisor (ta-bmboo) are all negative, one even focusing on widespread smoking inside the club:
The Romanian president, Klaus Iohannis, has once again defied his nickname (the Mute) and declared:
In the fire in the Bucharest nightclub, luckily nobody died. We’ve been through, unfortunately, another major tragedy. Rules and laws have seemingly been again violated. Until we will understand once and for all that the law is the same for everybody, society will constantly be in danger.
Meanwhile, Bucharest’s Mayor, belonging to PSD, opines that unauthorized clubs should be closed on Facebook. Why has she not acted on her opinions (she’s the Mayor, not some commenter) is left to the imagination.
Actually, it turns out the the former (Ciolos) government had passed a law abrogating the previous law (which had not been enforced, causing the Colectiv fire), allowing clubs until June 30, 2017 to bring their establishments into compliance, on the excuse that nobody could do so right away. The law also set “exclusive responsibility for functioning” on the owners (which sounds like a CYA clause for the authorities). In the case of Bamboo, not only that it had not been authorized, but it had a fire plan authorized by ISU. The club was first destroyed by fire back in 2005, when it was 4000 sq m, being expanded in 2010 to 10000 sq m.
Starting last week, many Romanians have been protesting against the law of amnesty that PSD had been concocting to save their sponsors and corrupt officials. While this fire has not come even close to the tragic consequences of the Colectiv fire, it fuels the same dissatisfaction with voters with the current government.
The unfortunate problem is that PSD’s voters are unlikely to pin this issue on the PSD government and are likely untouched by the PSD’s corruption.
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