Opposition Parties Call For Resignation Of Bucharest Mayor Over Municipal Company Scandal

High-ranking members of Romanian opposition parties called for the resignation of Bucharest Mayor Gabriela Firea on Friday, after a court decided to invalidate a town hall 2017 decision regarding the establishment of municipal companies in various areas of the city’s administration.

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Imaginea articolului Opposition Parties Call For Resignation Of Bucharest Mayor Over Municipal Company Scandal

Opposition Parties Call For Resignation Of Bucharest Mayor Over Municipal Company Scandal

Among the political leaders criticizing the social-democrat mayor was the chairman opposition party USR Chairman, Dan Barna, whose group initiated the lawsuit which resulted in the invalidation decision.

“The result and decision of the case yesterday (Thursday, ed.) shows that illegality cannot go on forever in the Bucharest Town Hall (…) In this moment we have a clear court decision which says that Gabriela Firea threw Bucharest into an irresponsible adventure through which it gnawed half a billion euro. In this moment we consider that Gabriela Firea must resign and we expressly request this,” said Barna.

He was joined by PNL Bucharest leader Cristian Busoi, who also requested the urgent suspension of the companies’ activity following the decision.

“There are almost RON2.7 billion, approximately EUR600 million, which were allocated to these companies during this time, either as loans or capital increases. I think the general mayor and councilors who voted for the establishment of these companies must give public explanations and we expect their resignation anyway,” said the liberal leader.

The Bucharest Appeal Court decided on Thursday to invalidate all town hall decisions to establish municipal companies, taken in 2017, following a lawsuit by political party USR. The Town Hall later reacted by stating that the decision will not affect the functioning of said companies.

According to the chairman of USR Bucharest, Roxana Wring, the party’s municipal councilors attacked the decision in court for being passed with the wrong procedure. The party believed that the companies needed the vote of two thirds of town hall councilors to be established, as they would also receive projects regarding the city’s heritage, while the decisions were passed with absolute majority.

The Bucharest Town Hall and Mayor Gabriela Firea reacted on Friday, both stating that the decision was erroneous and will not affect the actual functioning of the twenty-one municipal companies, but will simply invalidate the administrative acts leading to their creation.

“Based on this impossible to explain model, all decisions to establish companies from the entire country, from ministries, county council or town halls should be invalidated. I am absolutely convinced that this an error of interpretation which will be correct. USR’s cynical joy will be short-lived,” said Firea, who also accused the opposition party of wanting to save “leech-companies subscribed to the Town Hall’s budget for years”.

The Bucharest Town Hall approved in 2017 the establishment of 21 municipal companies, which should replace or integrate current agencies who handle various aspects of the city’s administration. Opposition parties have repeatedly criticized the companies for the fact that they act as private companies owned by the Town Hall, rather than public entities.

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