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Bucharest
October 26, 2020
POLITICS

Gabriela Firea: Bucharest City Hall pays law firms EUR 10 M a year

Bucharest Mayor Gabriela Firea claims that the City Hall is paying law firms that represent it in court over EUR 10 M each year, adding that “maybe they are not even correctly representing it, based on the information I have.”

“The City Hall is involved in around six thousand litigations. Apart from the jurists who work within the Bucharest City Hall, there are contracts with several law firms. Each year, the Bucharest City Hall pays EUR 10 M to law firms alone. It’s a huge sum, it’s a very large sum,” Gabriela Firea said, being quoted by News.ro.

The Bucharest Mayor stated that she has information that the City Hall was not very correctly represented in these cases, although a lot of money is spent on contracts with law firms. Firea announced that an analysis will be carried out on the workload of the City Hall’s jurists in order for these cases to be distributed to them.

“I’m convinced that these things can be adapted and readjusted and money can be saved, firstly by thinking what are the hours that should be dedicated to a certain lawsuit, to a certain action, and what is the workload of the Bucharest City Hall jurists, whether they need another EUR 10 M for these cases to be well represented. And maybe they are not even that correctly represented, based on the information I have,” Gabriela Firea added.

 

Mayor no longer wants streets in downtown Bucharest blocked by weekend events

 

Bucharest Mayor Gabriela Firea stated that she no longer wants streets in downtown Bucharest blocked by weekend events. The new mayor has announced that in this sense she will officially notify the City Hall directors who issued permits for such street events.

“This very weekend, traffic in Bucharest was blocked. Not because there were a lot of cars in traffic – people were at the seaside, at the mountainside, many were on vacation – but because very many street events are being approved in downtown Bucharest, whether they are cultural, entertainment or sport events. This doesn’t happen in any [other] European capital. Elsewhere there is respect for citizens, for tourists, and in general respect for the fact that you shouldn’t “choke off” traffic with events – it’s very good that events are being organised but they shouldn’t be organised downtown, in the centre of the Capital,” Gabriela Firea stated on Antena 3, Agerpres informs.

The Bucharest Mayor pointed out she has already announced all the directors that handle these permits that they will meet on Monday morning and this will never happen again. She pointed out that these permits were issued prior to her taking office.

“Bucharesters are already on the edge. Yesterday I felt this state and I’m receiving numerous messages on Facebook, on my personal email, not to mention the emails and the control room of the City Hall. Yesterday the line of cars stretched from the Free Press House all the way to the Government. I thought there was an accident, I tried to get to it quicker, to see what was going on. What do you think was going on? Kiseleff Boulevard was blocked off. There were a few youngsters who were playing tennis – very few of them because there was a heat wave. It’s good they were working out but they shouldn’t have done it on Kisellef Boulevard. All of downtown Bucharest was paralysed, everyone was angry. (…) Recently there was a concert in Constitution Square. You couldn’t enter Bucharest from Otopeni, everything was paralysed,” Gabriela Firea explained.

According to her, there are many areas left unused, even empty plots of land, which could host events, giving the National Arena, Romexpo and Bucharest parks as examples.

“Had there been a Bucharest beltway, we wouldn’t have had to drive through Bucharest,” the Bucharest Mayor added.

 

Clotilde Armand: The Mayor wants to inflict extra punishment on Bucharesters

 

Bucharest Mayor Gabriela Firea’s intention to no longer allow the hosting of events on Bucharest’s streets represents a blow to cultural life, according to Clotilde Armand, USB’s representative within District 1’s Local Council.

“For Ms. Firea, it’s not enough that Bucharesters are living in one of the most polluted European capitals, that they have very little green areas (in fact, the least amount, as a result of the illegal implementation of the concrete-laying projects so dear to District 3’s Social Democrat Mayor Robert Negoita), that constructions are made chaotically in Bucharest and the city’s architectural heritage is being systematically destroyed, or that the city’s central heating system is almost bankrupt. The Mayor wants to inflict extra punishment on Bucharesters by limiting their access to cultural and sport street events, which give charm to city life and are after all a sign of normalcy,” Clotilde Armand wrote on Facebook.

In her opinion, it is not these events that are choking off traffic in Bucharest “but the lack of parking lots, the lack of an expressway-level beltway, the absence of a functional traffic management system.”

“Without permits released by the City Hall, events such as Street Delivery, Spotlight, Femei pe Matasari, large concerts, the Bucharest marathon and semi-marathon, events with tens of thousands if not hundreds of thousands of participants, can no longer be organised,” the local councillor pointed out.

According to her, “instead of banning Bucharesters’ access to culture and sport,” the Bucharest Mayor should start the construction of a new polyvalent hall or of a modern tennis arena.

 

Dragnea rules out Gabriela Firea’s presidential candidacy in 2019. Firea: Only God knows what will happen in 2019

 

Social Democratic Party (PSD) President Liviu Dragnea rules out Gabriela Firea running for president in 2019, while Bucharest’s Mayor says “only God knows.”

“Only God knows what will happen in 2019. We can make suppositions, express opinions, God knew what will happen to us in this lifetime and he definitely knew I was going to end up Bucharest Mayor; something that I didn’t know, you didn’t know, Bucharesters didn’t know. We have no way of knowing so many things, and certainly not about the future,” Gabriela Firea stated on Sunday on Antena 3 when asked about a presidential candidacy in 2019.

She added that she is a correct, honest woman.

“In what concerns me, just as I have proved both as secretary of state within the Isarescu Government and especially as a journalist, I have always been a correct, an honest person, a person that didn’t have hidden plans and a personal agenda other than the public one,” the Bucharest Mayor stated, being quoted by Agerpres.

Liviu Dragnea however ruled out this possibility.

“It’s too early to talk about PSD’s candidate in the 2019 presidential elections,” PSD President Liviu Dragnea stated on Sunday when asked whether Gabriela Firea could be an option.

“It’s much too early to discuss this, but I don’t believe that what I discussed with Ms. Firea when we jointly decided on this candidacy would give us this possibility, because we respect Bucharesters too much and I don’t believe it’s good to use the office of Bucharest Mayor as someone’s personal springboard, but there’s still a long way to go until then,” Liviu Dragnea stated on Antena 3.

 

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