He was told that half of a million Romanian immigrants have a good life in Spain. Nicolae Mirita arrived in Castellon three months ago, along with his wife and two children. He was sure he'd find there what Romania refused him: a place to stay, a job, money and happiness.
He paid the mobsters the trip and the fee for finding a job, but all the happiness he heard about in Bucharest was still far.
This the way the story begun for Nicolae Mirita, the Romanian who set himself on fire in Castellon, and lives now only due to the support of medical equipment.
He lived poorly, selling refreshments. He was told that his work was not legal, then he failed to pay his rent and ended up in the street. He decided to return to Romania, preferring to die poor in his own country.
When he contacted the mobsters, he was cheated and left without any money at all. He demanded help from the Red Cross, needing the money to return home. He never got it.
On Tuesday, he decided to set himself on fire in front of a governmental building in Castellon, in front of his wife and kids. With third degrees burns, he is currently in a very bad shape.
"Everyone said they would help us, but nobody did", says his 16-year old daughter. "The Police and the social services in Castellon could have helped us and nothing like this would have ever happened".
Authorities "acknowledged" the situation of the Romanian family and "examine the way the return to Romania may be facilitated after the father recovers". It is possible for an NGO to pay for the return tickets.
The incident stirred several discussions between the political leaders of the Spanish parties, all relating to the immigration issue.