Court annuls decision setting up City holdings, Bucharest Mayor Firea says they can further operate

The Bucharest Court of Appeals on Thursday decided to annul all decisions setting up the Municipal Holdings, the Save Romania Union (USR) says in a release.

‘The decision is final and occurs at the end of a process initiated by the USR Bucharest in 2017. The USR’s municipal counselors have contested the setting up of these holdings on reason that the decisions were illegally adopted. To be more specific, they were passed with the vote of half plus one of the total number of counselors, and not with the two-thirds vote of the counselors, as such projects that are about the City’s heritage are supposed to be adopted,’ the source said.

‘The court has found today [Thursday, ed. n.] that all of the holdings established by Gabriela Firea [Bucharest General Mayor, ed. n.] have been set up with the violation of the law, as we have said last year. It is bad news for the gangs of Voluntari [the city of provenance of Firea, ed. n.] who see their dream of grabbing Bucharest piece by piece, crushing. It is in exchange very good news for the Bucharesters because these holdings will no longer swallow hundreds of millions of euro as they have done so far. These holdings are a managerial, financial failure for which Gabriela Firea must be held accountable,’ the USR Bucharest president Roxana Wring, municipal counselor and signatory of the court action said.

Wring added that the current city mayor ‘has pledged and forced against the law’ these holdings’ establishment.

‘The current mayor is the one who has handed in over half a billion of euro to these over-the-night-set structures. And the current mayor has to pay. Gabriela Firea is the only one guilty for the biggest city and financial disaster in Bucharest’s last 30 years. Every time I warned that there is a violation of the law and I asked Gabriela Firea not to venture into such an experiment. Sadly, she didn’t listen and pushed the city and the public money in a pit from where we will have a hard time coming out,’ she said.

Ana Ciceala, a city counselor with the USR and signatory of the court action specified that following this decision, the money of the Bucharest citizens must return to the City’s budget.

Bucharest General Mayor Gabriela Firea on Thursday night said that the above-mentioned decision of the Court of Appeals does not involve a cease of these holdings’ activity, because these holdings are not erased from the Trade Register.

‘No patrimony has been transferred from the City to the holdings, hence under no circumstances the vote of their setting up is conditioned to be two-thirds, but a simple, half-plus-one majority. Nothing from the Bucharest City heritage has been dismantled to the newly established city holdings, that will continue to operate first thing in the morning. Nothing has happened, they are not erased from the Trade Register. If the issue of removing them is raised, then it will be about a new court case they will have to win – so far, they have not won a removal law suit – and as long as these holdings are not erased, they are legally set up and will further operate. This debate on the votes – two-thirds, half plus one – will probably continue and will be solved, I’m certain, in the next period,’ the City Mayor told the private Realitatea TV broadcaster.

In the same broadcast, the Bucharest independent MP, Deputy Nicusor Dan stated that he didn’t understand ‘how Mrs. Firea can still defend herself’ as long as the Court of Appeals’ decision is final.

Firea replied that ‘exceptional ways of attack’ exist, as provided by the law and mentioned that she used to have several talks on this matter with law professors.

Nicusor Dan replied that in the case Gabriela Firea wishes to make the Bucharest public acquisitions efficient, she must carry them out through the Public Procurement Directorate.

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