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January 17, 2022

Udrea: PDL mayors’ bad luck crisis hit when in power

Tourism and Regional Development Minister Elena Udrea said on Saturday after a meeting of the Democrat Liberal party’s Constanta branch leadership that PDL mayors have ‘bad luck’ because they got in power at a time when there isn’t enough money for community projects because of the economic crisis. Udrea, who has been coordinating PDL Constanta since 2008, had a meeting with local mayors and listened to their demands and the problems they are facing, mostly related to lack of investment funds, according to Mediafax.

“Our poor mayors have bad luck because before, when there was money that previous governments didn’t know what to do with it, the Social Democrats and the Liberals were in government and the mayors did not get any money on political criteria. Now when we’re in the government and we don’t govern on political criteria, there isn’t any money,” she said. She added that her ministry’s budget has 31 per cent less funds than last year and underlined that most of the money should be used for road repair works, which are “essential in Constanta,” given its seaside tourism potential.

Talks on Saturday also focused on the ruling party’s upcoming internal elections. Udrea said that one thing agreed on during the talks was that members who will win internal elections on each branch level will also be the party’s candidates in local elections. She added that this would help pick local election candidates easier and would make them more familiar to voters. “I can’t see why we should wait so much to choose candidates, because it takes time to develop a candidacy if you want it to be successful. You don’t send somebody in an election fight just one day before the poll begins,” Udrea added.

The Democratic Union of Hungarians in Romania, PDL’s partner in the ruling coalition, are also unhappy with the low funds they have for their own mayors. UDMR leader Marko Bela had a meeting with his party’s mayors in Targu Mures on Saturday and he advised them to “learn how to dance with their legs tied” and make “the country work” in spite of the very low national budget.

“Local administrations are having problems, many projects were blocked, but we have to do anything possible to keep the most important plans going. What’s certain is that we cannot promise anything,” Marko said, adding that solutions must be found to stimulate economic growth and infrastructure development.

PSD threatens with OLAF complaint

In the meantime, Social Democrats’ general secretary, Liviu Dragnea, warned on Saturday, in response to Udrea’s statements, that his party would notify the European Antifraud Office (OLAF) is the PDL government tries to grant funds for public projects on political criteria.

Dragnea insisted that the government led by Emil Boc is not allocating money to mayors who are PSD members and underlined that the party is determined to notify OLAF if the cabinet tries to change European project financing guides.

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