Democrat Liberal Party Vice President Theodor Paleologu spoke in an interview to Mediafax about his desire to run for General Mayor, underlining that the city needs “an intellectual” on the job. Paleologu, who has signed up for the PDL internal race to appoint a General Mayor candidate, said he wishes to run for the position under the slogan “A mayor with a street name” and that if PDL chooses him, he will fight for the job “like a ronin samurai.”
“I would be a mayor who takes the bus, the tram, the metro, I would go riding a bike and I would be a mayor who knows the reality of the street, because I am a man of Bucharest,” he said.
Paleologu also explained that his concern for Bucharest is what drove him to politics. “I was outraged by the destruction going on in Bucharest back in 2008. This was a major campaign topic for me and I stuck to it while I was a minister (of Culture) and afterwards. And this is my creed. I’m a Bucharester, our family is among some of the oldest here, ever since the 18th century. So I am concerned with protecting my own habitat, which is in a lame condition from several points of view: traffic, destruction of heritage, pollution,” he said.
About his main rival in the internal race, PDL Deputy Silviu Prigoana, Paleologu said that he has an important advantage in the fact that he is wealthy, but voiced doubt that “Prigoana’s money is enough to run a campaign at Bucharest level.”
Paleologu also said that he is one of the few politicians concerned about urban planning and underlined that if he wins the job in next year’s election, he will hire Danish urban specialist Jan Gehl to redesign public space in the capital. As for solutions to some of the city’s most stringent problems: heavy traffic and stray dogs, Paleologu said he would try to invest more in developing a better public transit system and that sterilisation remains the only viable solution to reduce the number of dogs, except for the case when animals are aggressive and have to be put down.