Here is a real plan of action for a Liberal mayor:
- Widen the four main roads into the city
- Create a new outer ring road
- Build a new rail link from the centre to the main airport
- Extend the underground system to the south western suburbs
- Build a new airport to the south of the city
- Construct new port facilities in the city
OK, so it’s not a plan for London. They are (just some of) the key pledges from Ludovic Orban, Liberal candidate for mayor of Bucharest. You cant say he lacks ambition (though goodness knows how he plans to pay for it).
You turn your back for 10 minutes and a whole bunch of new parties appear in Romania.
Arrived in Bucharest in the middle of the local elections to discover the Popular Christian Social Union (they almost got all the bases covered there with the name 😉 and the Civic Force Party as the newest kids on the block. The former seems to be vaguely left of centre (their leader is a former Social Democrat, their Bucharest mayoral candidate is ex National Salvation Front and ex Democrat party), the latter a splinter from the Greater Romania Party.
Also surprised to see Adrian Mutu (a footballer, for the uninitiated) endorsing Cosmin Gusa of the National Initiative Party (amused that Gusa flew out to Italy for the meeting rather than the other way round though) and to see Sorin Oprescu running as an independent – last I heard, Oprescu was a senior Social Democrat.
Everyone is running ‘against the government’ – cohabitation helps because everyone has someone else to blame. The National Liberal campaign in Bucharest seems to be well funded but they bought lots of advertising space last November and still got trampled on by the Democrats.
Anyway, if you are interested and if you can read Romanian (or Latin or Italian – you’ll work it out), I recommend: www.alegeri.tv which I have just discovered.