Senate OKs bill on granting 46 ha of Romexpo land for free to real estate project

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The senators adopted on Wednesday the draft law through which the 46 hectares of land would be transferred, free of charge, from Romexpo to the Romanian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, for the development of a real estate project.

The draft had been submitted for re-examination by President Klaus Iohannis. The PSD, PNL and UDMR senators voted for the current provisions of the project, without blocking the transfer of the land. USR voted against. The bill thus passed by 81 votes in favour, 38 against and 2 abstentions.

The law will enter the debate of the Chamber of Deputies, which is also the decision-making forum in this case.

The draft law allows the free transfer to of the privately owned lands of the state to the Chamber of Commerce free of any charge to develop, in maximum 40 years, sustainable urban development projects. The senators debated and voted on the bill as a matter of urgency after the only amendment admitted in the the specialized committee comes up to complete the law, in the sense that the mentioned lands are transferred free of charge to the ownership of CCIR in order to “carry out exclusively the specific activity continuity and the realization, within maximum 40 years from the date of acquiring the property right, of sustainable urban development projects on the respective lands, meant to support the business environment.”

The normative act provides for the free transmission of the 46 hectares of land from Romexpo to the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Romania. Thus, the Chamber of Commerce could partner with the developer Iulius Mall and build 14 towers in the courtyard of Romexpo.

The draft law was approved by the Chamber of Deputies, with the vote of PNL, PMP and PSD, on September 2, 2020. On March 31, 2021, President Klaus Iohannis sent the law to Parliament for re-examination.

USR has strongly and repeatedly opposed to the bill, warning in various occasions that this project is “a real estate con”, as the plots of lands in that area are extremely valuable and they are granted for free to an entity. USR claimed that the Romanian state could obtained EUR 500 million from the Rommexpo lands.

After today’s vote, USR leader Dacian Cioloș retorted that “the Romexpo mega-business is the first PSD-PNL-UDMR scam just before nailing the new government.”

Dacian Cioloș states that “the toxic PSD-PNL alliance starts the offensive on public money immediately after they” got rid “of USR, which “bothered them on a daily basis with their demands for transparency”.

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