Romanian Protesters

(P1) Romanian Prime Minister Victor Ponta has resigned after some 20,000 people TOOK TO THE STREETS to protest over a NIGHTCLUB fire that killed 32 people.

(P2) Friday night’s BLAZE in Bucharest started when a band performing at the club set off FIREWORKS inside.

(P3) Demonstrators called for Mr Ponta to STEP DOWN, complaining of government CORRUPTION and poor safety SUPERVISION.

(P4) “I’m resigning,” Mr Ponta said in a statement.

(P5) “I hope the resignation will satisfy the people who came out in the streets,” he added.

(P6) In September, Mr Ponta became the first SITTING Romanian prime minister to go on trial charged with corruption. He faces ALLEGATIONS of FRAUD, TAX EVASION, and MONEY LAUNDERING.

(P7) He denies the charges and has accused prosecutors of being “totally unprofessional”.

(P8) The protesters also demanded the resignation of the mayor of the Bucharest district where the nightclub fire occurred and the country’s Interior Minister Gabriel Oprea. Both men also resigned on Wednesday.

(P9) President Klaus Iohannis, who has repeatedly called on Mr Ponta to step down since the corruption scandal UNFOLDED in June, called for a “SEA CHANGE” in Romanian politics IN THE WAKE OF the resignations.

(P10) He also voiced praise for Tuesday’s protests, saying the club TRAGEDY had “affected the nerve of the nation”.

(P11) Concerns that safety was compromised because of corruption, a LONG-STANDING issue in Romania, have fueled public anger.

(P12) The three owners of the club have been arrested amid allegations that the venue was OVERCROWDED, lacked the required number of EMERGENCY EXITS, and may not have obtained the proper permissions to hold such a concert.

WORDS: 262



If you found the passage difficult to read or had problems understanding specific words or idiomatic expressions, please discuss them with your tutor. The following discussion questions should be answered in your own words and with your own arguments.

  1. Briefly summarize the content of the article in your own words.
  2. Have any officials in your country’s government been accused of corruption in recent years? Have any officials resigned?
  3. Fires at nightclubs, rock concerts, and circus performances are unfortunately quite common. Why is this true?
  4. Are you comfortable in crowds, or do they make you uncomfortable?
  5. Have you ever visited the most popular nightclubs in your city?


What do the following expressions mean? Practice using each expression in a sentence; extra points if you can use it in conversation.

  • Take to the streets
  • Step down
  • Tax evasion
  • Money laundering
  • Sea change
  • In the wake of
  • Long-standing
  • Emergency exit

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