Only seven percent of Romania’s 19,000 schools have fire prevention authorizations, interim prime minister Sorin Cimpeanu – also the minister of education – admitted on Saturday in the context of ‘Colectiv’ nightclub lacking this permit at the time the deadly fire outburst.
“Based on the transparency principle I’ve already announced, as not admitting the problems does not mean they are solved, I am answering you also in my capacity of education minister, an office I still hold: out of the 19,000 schools in Romania, just seven percent have authorizations (…) on fire prevention — exactly 1,295 schools,” Cimpeanu answered media questions at the Victoria Palace.
He explained that the authorization procedure is “neither simple, nor quick or cheap”. The authorization project must be drafted by authorized officials. It costs between EUR 10,000 and 12,000 to 15,000 and takes 6, 7, 8, 12 months, depending on the safety of each building, of each location. The capacity to provide these services is low. There was also insufficient attention to this issue over the past 25 years,” the minister explained.
During the same press conference at the Government offices, state secretary Raed Arafat of the Ministry of Internal Affairs announced ongoing checks in clubs: “If we find any club or disco that exceeds the numbers [of customers] stipulated in the authorization, we will close it for 60 days and fine it by 30 (thousand) and 100,000 lei, as per the law.”
Asked how many hospitals lack the fire fighters’ authorization, health minister Nicolae Banicioiu answered that an evaluation was in progress and the figure will be released next week.