A Romanian might become the mayor of the German town where “The Grand Budapest Hotel” and “Inglorious Basterds” were shot


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Romanian-born Octavian Ursu emigrated in Germany in 1990, namely in Görlitz, a town near the border with Poland. Ursu worked at the Symphony Hall in the city, but joined the Christian-Democrat Union, then the Saxony legislative and now he is running for the mayor seat.

Octavian Ursu was born in Bucharest, graduated the Music Academy and emigrated in Germany after the Revolution, in 1990 and was hired as instrumentalist at the Symphony all in Görlitz.

Ursu has got 30.3% of the votes in the first round of the local elections on May 26, ranking second after the AdD candidate, Sebastian Wippel, voted by 36.%.

Deutsche Welle reported that Octavian Ursu would have chances to win the town hall, as he might be backed by the other parties in the region for the runoffs on June 16, which might join forces to prevent the AfD  from winning. The Romanian-born has also got the endorsement of film and cultural celebrities from Germany and abroad. They signed an open letter, calling on the locals of Görlitzto vote against “hatred and hostility, against isolation and discord”. AfD is a right-wing populist party.

The petition was signed among others by British filmmaker Stephen Daldry (“Billy Elliot – I Will Dance”), by actors Burghart Klaußner (“Das Weiße Band”), Jana Pallaske (“Inglourious Basterds”) and Volker Bruch (“Babylon Berlin”), as well as by such authors as Daniel Kehlmann (“Die Vermessung der Welt”) and Bernhard Schlink (“Der Vorleser”/ “The Reader”).

Actually, Görlitz is quite close to the film industry, as several movies were shot here: “The Grand Budapest Hotel”, “Inglorious Basterds” or “Monuments Men”. For the film industry is a major income for the city’s economy, Görlitz is also known as “Görliwood”.

Ramona Pop, Bürgermeisterin in Berlin

Ursu is not the only Romanian-born involved in the German administration or politics. Romanian Ramona Pop, in her early 40s, was elected „Bürgermeisterin”, deputy mayor of Berlin City Hall in 2017.

Ramona Pop, born in Timisoara, Western Romania in 1977, emigrated with her family in Germany in 1988. She graduated high school in Munich and is specialised in Political Science from the Otto Suhr Institute within the University in Berlin.

Member of the Green Party as of 1997, Pop was elected in the Parliament of Berlin (Abgeordnetenhaus) at a very young age, when she was just 24 years old.

She topped the party’s list in the Berlin election in 2016 and she has been deputy mayor and senator for Economy, Energy and Enterprises since December 2017.

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