Roman-Catholic Archbishop: Bucharest mayor is dodging her responsibility to enforce the court’s ruling on demolishing Cathedral Plaza

Roman-Catholic Archbishop of Bucharest, Ioan Robu, on Friday accused the Bucharest mayor, Gabriela Firea of dodging her responsibility of issuing a decision to demolish the Cathedral Plaza building. The Archbishop said the owners of the controversial building erected near the Catholic Cathedral in Bucharest are very influential and have a high financial power.

According to the archbishop, there is a final ruling in this case that says that the building must be demolished, but no one wants to step forward and observe the law.

We haven’t reach any agreement, we have the final decision of the court to dismantle the building, but until now, the Bucharest General Mayor has dodged her responsibility to enforce the decision to demolish or dismantle the building. We know that the owners are very powerful, financially speaking, which is not the church’s case, they have influence over all political and economic media. We are there, we have the justice on our side, but we are not entitled to it,” Archbishop Robu said in Cluj on Friday.

Two years ago, the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Bucharest lodged a complaint to the National Anti-corruption Directorate against former Bucharest mayor Sorin Oprescu and against businessmen Dragos Bilteanu and Ioannis Papalekas, accusing them of criminal group affiliation for “denying to enforce the court ruling regarding Cathedral Plaza demolishing.”

In his turn, Greek businessman Ioannis Papalekas, the owner of Cathedral Plaza, also lodged a criminal complaint against Catholic Archbishop Ioan Robu and against the Catholic Archdiocese in Bucharest, while putting in a claim for damages, in retort for the Archdiocese’s complaint. The Greek businessman argued that the complaints against him are denigrating and affects his image.

Eventually, in September 2015, the Ploiesti Court of Appeal gave a final ruling in this case, saying that the building is illegal and must be demolished.

The Cathedral Plaza, a 19-storey building located at the crossroads of Lutherana and Berthelot streets in Bucharest, right near the “Sf. Iosif” Roman-Catholic Cathedral, was built in 1998. The representatives of the Roman-Catholic Church have sued the owners and the authorities for allowing the construction. Several courts ruled that the building was illegal, with the last ones being during the mandate of Sorin Oprescu as Bucharest mayor, who has also avoided to enforce the courts’ decisions.

Alba Iulia Appeal CourtBucharestbucharest mayorcathedral plazaGabriela Fireainfluentialioan robuownersRoman Catholic Archbishopruling
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