The National Program for Local Development – PNDL has raised Romania out of the mud, prime minister Viorica Dancila said on Monday, February 18, praising the EUR 10 billion programs launched by Liviu Dragnea, the leader of the ruling Social Democratic Party (PSD).
She also said that the two PNDL programs have financed over 10,000 investment objectives in rural areas, totaling RON 34.25 billion (EUR 7.33 billion), so far.
Recorder.ro reporters went to several villages in Eastern Romania to see for themselves the results of the local development programs. What they found is far from the image presented by officials in Bucharest: muddy streets, unfinished works, kindergartens that need repair three months after the work was completed, lighting bulbs bought for thousands of euro in villages that lack the minimum conditions for decent living.
They also found a priest in Tulcea county who also worked as a counselor in the Regional Development Ministry, which manages the National Program for Local Development, who used a firm with zero revenues and zero employees to get over one hundred contracts from local authorities financed with PNDL money. Recorder.ro reporters went to some of the villages where the authorities awarded contracts to the priest’s firm and found poor quality works for which the city halls paid several times more than the average market prices.
The mayors’ explanation is that they received calls “from the top” and advised to sign with the respective firm if they wanted to get the money from the ministry.
The priest, however, refused to answer the Recorder reporter’s questions.
“How is it possible to take over a ghost firm and immediately win contract after contract with the public authorities? This is truly a miracle!” the reporter tells the priest. To which the priest’s answer is: “That's why we serve Him, because He loves us and does miracles!”
See below the Recorder.ro investigation (English subtitles coming soon):
(Photo source: Screen caption from Recorder.ro video)
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