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February 28, 2021
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District mayors join forces against ‘Czar’ Oprescu

The mayors of Bucharest’s six districts announced on Sunday the setting up of the Bucharest District Mayoralties Association. What the six mayors are most unhappy about is the lack of good communication with the general mayor of Bucharest,  Sorin Oprescu. District 4 Mayor Cristian Popescu Piedone said that “Bucharest Czar” Sorin Oprescu only met with them three times in the past five years. “We only issue to communicate with one another, and with the Czar of Bucharest, too. I call him so, as he called us princes. Yet, we are out there in the jungle, day in and day out, while he stands on Olympus.

I want to make it quite clear, I have no beef with Mr. Oprescu, but I only met him three times over the past five years. I would like District 4 projects, and those of the other mayoralties, too, to develop both efficiently and durably. If he takes some of our duties away from us, then, I will resign, since I cannot promise people something in the campaign only to be unable to keep my word afterwards. I hope this association will usher in a better living for Bucharesters,” said Cristian Popescu Piedone.

In his turn, District 2 Neculai Ontanu said that the association’s focus is on team work toward better absorption of European funds, as, EU funds are and must remain a good financing source for the city.

District 3 Mayor Robert Negoita, the project initiator, said that “there is much need for normality” and, according to the administration law, the general mayor should convene district mayors for a meeting once a month, which has never happened during his first year as district mayor. Negoita said he couldn’t grasp why suspended motorways should be built when Bucharest’s boulevards have not yet been overhauled.

District 1 Mayor Andrei Chiliman, who will be the association’s first six month rotating president, said that the legislative administration lags behind city development and there are many legal issues that need to be corrected.

District 6 mayor Rares Manescu said that, for now, the focus should be on the highest possible absorption of EU funds, as they are “the only real money during 2013-2014, a difficult period financially speaking”.

District 5 Mayor Marian Vanghelie said the association was not founded against Sorin Oprescu, but to solve some of Bucharest’s stringent problems. Vanghelie expressed the view that public utilities such as RADET (heating utility), Apa Nova (water and sewage) or RATB (public transportation), should remain under state administration. Vanghelie said that Sorin Oprescu should see his district counterparts as equal partners, and when Bucharest is the issue, there should be one unanimous voice.

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