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November 12, 2019
POLITICS

USL proposes seaside tourism ‘without constraints’

The union’s vision on tourism includes the Romanian seaside becoming a non-restricted casino and smoking zone.

The Social-Liberal Union (USL) launched its tourism strategy at Mamaia, Friday. The main proposal envisages re-branding the Romanian seaside into a zone where casinos can operate without restrictions, which, in USL’s view, should also apply to smoking. Moreover, the seaside should also offer unrestricted access to motor and sailboats. The Social-Democrat Party (PSD) and National Liberal Party (PNL) also propose the ban being lifted on constructions in the coastal area, with the exception of beaches and natural reserves.

Also, the USL proposes a program of the “first swimming pool” type for seaside hotels, co-financed from the state budget, and tourism being boosted by the development of a road infrastructure providing access to the area. The two parties promised to build 1,200 kilometres of motorways during 2012-2020, and railways and tourist roads are also going to be revamped. As to mountain tourism, the USL sets out to carry on the “Superski in the Carpathians” programme, construction of aqua-parks in large holiday resorts, as well as “outdoor “adventure” type parks. USL officials have a Danube Delta strategy too, aimed at incentives to protected areas and sports tourism at Sulina, Sfantu Gheorghe and Crisan. The USL tourism strategy also includes creation of a programme tailored on “Work and Travel in the US”.

Mazare, surrounded by nine fashion models

Constanta Mayor Radu Mazare, who also attended the event, said that the Romanian seaside should be “looked at differently”, in order to offset the liabilities tied to the obsolete infrastructure and a short holiday season. In his opinion, the solution would be “tourism without constraints”, “all-night partying and smoking.”

Surrounded by nine fashion models holding plaquettes reading “Welcome” for several countries, Mazare showed journalists his concept of promoting Black Sea tourism: “This is how I’d like the seaside to welcome tourists”. The mayor said he would have climbed onto the stage accompanied by the female fashion models right from the start of the USL strategy launching ceremony, yet, Victor Ponta wouldn’t let him. “I am at fault for Radu Mazare’s girls not being on stage anymore. They were at the PSD women summer school earlier and they sent a wrong message with respect to party promotion,” Mediafax quoted Ponta as saying. USL Co-President Crin Antonescu insisted that Ponta takes on himself a burden of responsibility heavier than his actual ‘guilt’. “I’m increasingly more convinced Ponta would make a good premier. It is good for a minister, a prime minister, to take responsibility generally speaking”, Antonescu said. Before the launch of the USL tourism strategy, Radu Mazare, Crin Antonescu and Victor Ponta argued on how the event should be presented, with the Constanta mayor favouring a more animated one. Mazare’s reply came at the PSD women summer School a few hours later, where the Constanta mayor said that politicians “pulled a wry face” on seeing “beautiful girls” being part of the presentation of the USL tourism strategy, adding that politicians will be on TV, and “want to pass for something different from what they are, actually”, despite some being into their third marriage. He also said that women are the best and most beautiful thing Romania has, making the point he would enrich the PSD women’s organization with the fashion models that paraded on the podium.

The Constanta mayor also mentioned his conflict with Tourism Minister Elena Udrea either, saying “she is not the boss over the EU money”, which means she cannot take away the funds allotted to the city, as she has announced recently. “Anyway, two projects were submitted to her a month ago which she won’t pass, (…) Yet, the lady is scolding us. She has a Base (Basescu) type of nerve, but we’ve got used to it,” Mazare said.

Udrea: PSD’s “genius” strategy wrecked tourism

Development and Tourism Minister Elena Udrea Saturday criticised Radu Mazare’s understanding of how tourism should be promoted, adding that the PSD Women’s Organization should protest the “humiliation” to which they were subjected by the Constanta mayor. She stated that the seaside needs a strategy that should start off with infrastructure and have in view improved services, as it’s not enough to “crowd three clubs in Mamaia”, where smoking and drug consumption are allowed. Udrea made the point she will support any “cohesive tourism” measures, yet, the “disastrous” privatisation during the Nastase government was all she has seen from the PSD so far.

Ponta: i support Mazare in the battle against Udrea

Despite the different visions they had on the launching of the USL tourism strategy PSD President Victor Ponta acknowledged that Radu Mazare is “Number 1” at party parties, adding he supports the mayor in the “battle” against Elena Udrea. “As to Radu, I would like to say that his battle with Mrs. Udrea has nothing to do with Mrs. Udrea’s gender, but what Mrs. Udrea does, and I totally support him in everything he does,” Ponta said.

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