Municipal waste collection scandal in Bucharest continues in court
The mayor of Bucharest's District 1, Clotilde Armand, obtained the approval for the state of emergency from the local Government’s representative (prefect) at the end of last week, hired another municipal solid waste collection company for the short term, and plans to ask again in court the termination of the contract with the main contractor Romprest.
Signed by her predecessors for a period of 25 years, the contract is too expensive, she claims, News.ro reported.
Following the repeated conflicts between Armand and Romprest, municipal waste has frequently accumulated on the streets.
To ask for the termination of the contract in court, Armand will seek the support of the local council after a Court decision clarifies that this is a pre-requisite step.
It is unclear whether the council will support Armand’s action. But even if eventually started, the outcome of the action in court is unpredictable.
While not necessarily a hot issue at the national level, the scandal reveals once again the weak coherence of Romania’s ruling coalition and the multitude of conflicts among its members.
A member of the reformist USR PLUS party, Armand claims she is not backed by the council members of the Liberal (PNL) party, which gives the Social Democrat (PSD) opposition the opportunity to accuse the ruling coalition as a whole for the poor overall performance of the public administration. Ironically, the controversial 25-year contract was signed by a Liberal.
The contract signed by Armand with the alternative municipal waste collection firm, Brai-Cata, raised more questions because of its controversial past ownership linked to the Italian Mafia and the poor performance in other municipalities where it operates. However, it is not sure whether companies with completely clean pedigree are frequent in this industry.
(Photo: Octav Ganea/ Inquam Photos)