Belina Island to be taken over by the state

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PM Ludovic Orban has announced in the Government sitting on Friday that the Romanian Waters state company will take over Belina Island from the Teleorman County Council. The PM said that the take over will be made without the contracts concluded by the County Council with Tel Drum, the company allegedly controlled by the former PSD chairman Liviu Dragnea.

“After a long period when Belina Island and Pavel channel have wandered through the hands of PSD and Dragnea’s friends from Teleorman, the island is returning to the state’s administration today.

The takeover statement by the Romanian Waters is signed today. The takeover is without the contracts that the Teleorman County Council had signed with TelDrum. The takeover is clean,” PM Orban said.

The premier said that everything that had been illegally erected on the island will be reviewed.

The Environment Ministry is expected to issue a government resolution to regulate all aspects related to the administration of the island and of the channel. “We are waiting for the government resolution so that we should close this sad chapter when the red barons tried to turn state properties into their own estate”, Ludovic Orban stated.

In February 2019, Tel Drum company lost the lawsuit filed against Teleorman County Council whereby it demanded the suspension of the decision by which the Belina Island and the Pavel Channel were returned to the administration of the Romanian Waters.

The decision to open the lawsuit comes as Teleorman County Council adopted in November 2018 a draft resolution by which the Belina Island and the Pavel Channel were returned to the state administration, after five years when they were leased to Tel Drum.

Tel Drum sued the Teleorman County Council on January 9, and the first hearing of the trial was due on January 23.

At the end of last year, the Teleorman County Council has decided to give Belina Island and Pavel Channel on the Danube back to the state, namely to the Romanian Waters.

During the five years of administration of the Belina Island and Pavel Channel, the Teleorman County Council had pledged to turn them into recreational areas for the population. However, a Government decision signed by the former PM Victor Ponta and assumed by Liviu Dragnea, Belina Island had been leased to Tel Drum.

Former PSD deputy PM and Development minister Sevil Shhaideh was prosecuted for abuse of office in the Belina file. In regard to ex-minister Rovana Plumb, the prosecutors could not initiate prosecution because the parliament has not given the go-ahead for waiving the parliamentary immunity, so the charges have been classified

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