The Arad mayor, PNL’s Gheorghe Falca, has rejected the comments made by some social-democrat politicians, who said the Western Alliance could put at risk Romania’s territorial integrity.
Falca says that in 2014, upon the proposal of the World Bank, an attempt was made to establish the Arad-Timisoara economic field, but the Government opposed the idea. PNL sources say other mayors as well, some of them not PNL members, want to join the Western Alliance.
On December 8, the mayors of Timisoara – Nicolae Robu, Cluj-Napoca – Emil Boc, Arad – Gheorghe Falca and Oradea – Ilie Bolojan signed the establishment of the Western Alliance, an initiative which targets to draw up funds from the EU budget in view of economic development.
On Monday, the mayor of Resita, Ioan Popa, said that he intends to take the necessary steps for the city he leads to join the four cities that will form the Western Alliance.
“Resita is ready to join any alliance created by Transylvanian municipalities, in the Banat area, because these administrations have shown they know to perform. I call many times in Oradea and Arad and receive concrete and accurate answers. When the four mayors met for the first time, almost two months ago, when the intention was released at the ‘Urban Talk Conference’, I said that we want to join them,” said the Mayor of Resita, according to ‘Adevarul’.
In turn, Arad mayor Falca argues the Western Alliance “is a platform built in the spirit of the Alba Iulia Declaration, in the spirit of unity. We are interested in the development of communities, in their freedom, more power to the communities and, of course, in administrative stability. I regret to hear accusations from PSD, they probably are not aware such associations already exist in Romania. One is in Tulcea region, which received EUR 1.2 billion from the EU and is called ITI – Integrated Territorial Investments. As we know, Tulcea has not gone away from Romania… In the same way, three city halls have associated to promote tourism – Constanta, Bucharest and Brasov.”
He argues the new association is built to attract more European funds, to have an instrument similar to the ITI.
Gheorghe Falca further said that in 2014 the World Bank proposed an instrument similar to the ITI – an economic field in Arad-Timisoara to attract funds directly from Brussels, but the Romanian Government did not agree.
The Western Alliance will submit to the Government, by spring, the steps to be made and expects to find cooperation. “I don’t believe the Government will sabotage the association, it’s in Romania’s interest to attract more European funds,” Falca added.
Sources from PNL say other city halls are interested in joining the association, such as the mayors of Drobeta-Turnu Severin, Deva, Petrosani and Campia Turzii.