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Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Romania. Bullying of seniors. Two resignations of ministers

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Two members of the Romanian government have resigned after a journalistic investigation revealed they knew of serious abuses at three retirement homes in the Bucharest metropolitan area, Reuters reported.

President on Friday Romania Klaus Iohannis announced that he had approved the resignation of the current head of the Ministry of Family, Youth and Equality Gabriela Firea, the former mayor of the capital, who had close ties to Stefan Godei, the owner of seniors’ homes where there were abuses.

On Thursday, another member of the cabinet of Prime Minister Marcel Ciolacu, Minister Marius Budai, responsible for the labor ministry, was dismissed. This politician was supposed to ignore information from one of the non-governmental organizations about abuses committed in care facilities.

During the investigation so far, it has been confirmed that in retirement centers owned by Stefan Godei, there were cases of starvation, beating and other forms of abuse of seniors.

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Control in three nursing homes

On July 4, Romanian prosecutors announced that they had opened an investigation against 26 people suspected of trafficking, fraud, forgery and activities in an organized crime group exploiting elderly people under their care, Reuters reported.

After complaints from NGOs and neighbors, prosecutors raided three nursing homes located in the town of Voluntari on the outskirts of the capital Bucharest, where they found 98 neglected, malnourished and bruised seniors.

These people were subjected to “inhuman or degrading treatment”, prosecutors said. They added that the victims were forced to work, physically abused and starved. The suspects in the case are also accused of embezzlement of funds worth 5.2 million lei (PLN 4.69 million). .

Fire: I’m innocent

Gabriela Firea, perceived by the media as a politician planning to run for president of Romania on behalf of the coalition Social Democratic Party (PSD), claims her innocence and denies her relationship with Stefan Godei.

Firea claims she was unaware of the abuses and believes she is being dragged into a scandal that will prevent her from running for mayor of Bucharest in 2024.

However, the Bucharest media found documents contradicting her version. According to Digi 24 TV, both Firea and her husband have employed Stefan Godei since 2014 in various institutions with which they were associated, including at the Bucharest City Hall and at the Parliament.

The capital’s station claims that it was thanks to the deputy head of the PSD that Godei worked as a driver in the Romanian Senate from February. Previously, he was Gabriela Firea’s driver in the town hall and her husband’s co-worker in one of the sports clubs.

Main photo source: Shutterstock

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