Catalin Predoiu, the National Liberal Party’s candidate for the Bucharest City Hall, stated in an interview for ‘Gandul’ daily that the distance that separates him from Ms. Firea in opinion polls is “regainable,” claiming that he will overtake her come elections day.
“Surveys that intoxicate with false information concerning the distance between candidates are being thrown on the market, the goal being to confuse undecided voters and to demoralise, if you will, the candidate’s troops. (…) These surveys are false, [carried out by] the same polling institutes who credited Victor Ponta as the landslide winner of the presidential runoff, by a 3-4 percent lead. In a few hours’ time, it was seen that the situation was the other way around. And these are the same polling institutes that are now saying that Gabriela Firea is winner by a landslide. I’m telling you, Gabriela Firea will not be the Mayor of Bucharest. Catalin Predoiu will be the Mayor of Bucharest. I know what I’m saying,” the Liberal candidate explained.
In what concerns his resignation from the leadership of PNL Bucharest in case he loses the elections, he rules out this possibility.
“I won’t lose. I will win these elections,” the Liberal’s verdict sounded when ‘Gandul’ daily asked him about the possibility of retiring.
“A term in office is sufficient to have non-congested traffic in Bucharest. I will be the general mayor that solves the traffic problem,” he added in the interview.
“It was said that the city has money, it has. It was said that the city has the capacity to become indebted, it has, it’s very true. My ambition is greater. Apart from the City Hall budget, apart from what can be attracted through the issuance of municipal bonds, apart from European funds, I have the ambition of generating interest in Bucharest, to look for global investment centres, investment poles that would come to Romania, to create in Bucharest a kind of regional economic development centre. Bucharest is the ninth largest European city, it is the fourth [largest] in Eastern Europe, behind Moscow, Saint Petersburg and Kiev. It’s larger than Budapest, it’s larger than Vienna, it’s larger than Warsaw, it’s larger than Prague. In Bucharest the GDP per capita is 131 percent of the European average, higher than in Athens, Madrid, Berlin, isn’t it a shame not to put this potential to good use? What I want to tell you: I will draw the world’s attention to Bucharest by designing the Bucharest brand, by solving these traffic problems and by showing to those who speak business that business can be made in Bucharest, investments can come. Bucharesters can directly benefit from this interest through their companies that can have contracts with these investors, through people finding jobs, through all those who benefit from the economic environment,” the PNL candidate presented his plans.
He explained that he wants to make industry out of art.
“Think about the software industry, think about the hospitality industry, think about the restaurant industry, the art industry. We are not making an industry out of art. Other cities are making an industry out of art, make money from this, and create jobs. Think about the talents we have in the film industry, in theatre, in art in the most general way. We are a talented people, we are less organised as a people, we lack this talent when it comes to organising. Some of us have it. I have this ability to organise: I organised wherever I’ve been, I had results both in the private and public sectors. Talent plus organising, plus integrity, plus communication in the world, building relations, openness, modernity, means prosperity for every Bucharester. I know how to do this, I’ve done it. I’ve done it on a different scale,” Predoiu explained.
Asked whether he would earmark funds for the National Cathedral if he were mayor, Predoiu answered: “If I have funds for the Cathedral too, yes, I said it before.”
“If not, there will be other priorities, and there are other rapid priorities, then we will address these priorities first. Traffic for me is essential and we have to direct all efforts there, but I will be a mayor who knows how to bring funds to the city, to bring money to the City Hall. I won’t be a mayor that milks the City Hall, on the contrary. I will clean the City Hall of everything that means non-transparent and inefficient contracts, because maybe some are simply inefficient, I won’t call it corruption from the start,” the PNL candidate promised.