Minister of Interior Radu Stroe resigns
Minister of Interior Radu Stroe has submitted his resignation which has been accepted by Prime Minister Victor Ponta. The Interior Minister will be replaced by Vice-Premier Gabriel Oprea in the interim.
The resignation came about after a small aeroplane crashed in Transylvania in the early hours of Monday morning. All seven people aboard the plane survived the crash but two later died because of a failure by rescue teams to get to them in time. The nature of the deaths has enraged public opinion.
Prime Minister Victor Ponta issued the following statement yesterday on the Prime Minister’s website:
“Press statements by PM Victor Ponta on the interim at the Ministry of Interior
Good afternoon. First of all, I would like to confirm officially the fact that I received the resignation of Minister Radu Stroe, I discussed with the President of Romania and I put forward the proposal that during the interim, Vice –Premier Gabriel Oprea is appointed at the helm of MAI. I have also discussed with the co-president of USL, Mr. Antonescu, and most probably, around February 1st, we will have the proposal for the appointment of a new Minister of Interior. I wanted to make this public statement, to join the message of Minister Stroe, message to those who do their duty every day, in various structures and institutions of life safeguard- firefighters, SMURD, policemen, gendarmes, who indeed every day, in extremely difficult situations, of snow, floods, accidents, save as many lives can be saved and do their duty to the citizens of Romania. I think that in any case they do not deserve an overall reprimand for what happened the other day, especially since it is becoming more evident in all the data that we have had that the serious errors which wrongly headed people who were searching for survivors were made by ROMATSA (Romanian Air Traffic Services Administration) and STS (Special Telecommunications Services), the institutions that have the obligation and the technical capability to identify the aircraft wreckage.
I just want to assure you – I talked to the Minister of Transport – in ROMATSA, work must continue to take place every minute, every hour. Aircraft are flying and what did not work should be surely redressed in no time and also, on next week’s meeting of the Government, we will put forward the proposal to amend the operating system and the coordination of public institutions in such situations. There cannot be kept anymore the current system, in which the Interior Minister tries and sometimes manages to coordinate institutions that belong to other Ministries or under the authority of other powers in state, such is the case of STS. Surely, there will be two types of committees, emergency committees, one referring to the bad weather, and there Vice –Premier, Minister of Administration and Regional Development together with local authorities and public institutions should have very clear procedures and capacity for action, and in terms of emergency, under the leadership of the Vice –Premier for public order and national security, both the Ministry of Interior, ISU(General Inspectorate for Emergencies), Ministry of Health and various other institutions and authorities should work much better in coordination and under the authority of a single person so that the reaction be more effective in similar situations. These were things I wanted to tell you, we discuss others another time. Thank you.”