Sector 3’s facelift: It’s all on the never-never

You can’t swing a cat in Bucharest’s Sector 3 at the moment without hitting yet another block getting a ‘free, EU-financed’ facelift.

Ahead of June 5th’s local election, the mayor of our glorious People’s Republic, Robert Negoita, has focused his re-election campaign on the renovation of communist-era blocks. Negoita would have us believe that he has successfully renovated ‘for free’ more than 800 blocks throughout the sector during his eight years in office. The real figure is said to be closer to 400.

The actual number of renovated blocks is ultimately irrelevant. What is important is how Negoita and the council has paid for the work: enormous loans on less than favourable terms. In total, Negoita has taken out loans worth €80 million, costing €7 million per year in interest alone. What’s more, the council is also banking on EU funds: €52 million this year, of which €26 million in the first quarter alone. In fact, the Sector 3 council managed to absorb just €600,000 in the first quarter of 2016: a take-up rate of just over two per cent.

Make no mistake: Negoita has buried Sector 3 (and its taxpayers: us) in debt for decades to come.

In not entirely unrelated news, Negoita was yesterday exposed by ANAF (the Romanian taxman) as the country’s biggest debtor. ANAF made public a list of all those Romanian taxpayers* who owe more than 1500 lei, and – in another victory for Sector 3 – our man came out top. Negoita owes hundreds of millions of lei, around €51.5 million.

This news raises a number of questions:

How many blocks does that renovate? How many schools? How many hospitals?

Why have ANAF not repossessed everything Negoita owns and thrown him on to the streets?

Most of all though, we want to know how on earth can this piece of shit – already under investigation for tax evasion – now stand for re-election? (And how can anyone possibly justify voting for him?)

Answers on the usual postcard…

Negoita (third from left) with Gabriela Firea-Pandele, convicted criminal Liviu Dragnea and Victor Ponta - amongst others.
Negoita (third from left) with Gabriela Firea-Pandele, convicted criminal Liviu Dragnea and Victor Ponta – amongst others.

*Some very interesting names make the list. That great patriot Gigi Becali doesn’t like paying his taxes, neither does former Finance Minister Eugen Teodorovici. A former prime minister, Victor Ciorbea, owes 570,000 lei.

Elena Udrea, Traian Basescu and Victor Ponta’s wife Daciana Sarbu also all make ANAF’s list of shame. Even the former king, Mihai, owes the Romanian state money.

38 thoughts on “Sector 3’s facelift: It’s all on the never-never

  1. Taxes are for the poor, these guys should be let off since they create jobs and trickle down the wealth.
    HAHAHAHAHAA no fuck these assholes, hang them for treason.

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  2. “Make no mistake: Negoita has buried Sector 3 (and its taxpayers: us) in debt for decades to come.”…..BRAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. Sorry your Lordship for that amusement but I did warn you some years ago to buy land out in the sticks and build a nice house. I mean, what the ruddy hell are you doing stuck in a city with 3 million other wallys?

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  3. What’s worse, those EU funds are not 100% certain. It seems Negoiță ‘hopes’ that the EU would cover the expenses post-factum. I wish them the best of luck.
    Anyway, this is a case where the so-called left-wing PSD caters to middle-class voters in apartment blocks, while neglecting more important social issues.

    Negoita’s situation as one of the largest debtor was known since 2011 (I mean it was public in the media, just that people didn’t pay attention; they still don’t, btw). It is due to building residential neighbourhoods without VAT (‘pe persoană fizică’) and then ANAF telling him VAT must still be paid, man… After that, he went bankrupt in 2011 and ANAF sells some of his apartaments every so often.

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  4. “Negoita (third from left) with Gabriela Firea-Pandele, convicted criminal Liviu Dragnea and Victor Ponta – amongst others.”………….No Romanian table is complete without a two litre bottle of Pepsi!

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    1. I went to a wedding in Bucharest not so long ago which was quite fancy. There was a wine menu for each person with expensive French and Italian wines, oh and “Toata gama produselor Coca-Cola”

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  5. How come I can’t comment on your football for everyone story? Last night I was entertaining a retired pro Romanian footballer and he told me something iffy about a very famous former No10 from Constanta. A right proper Peckham Pouncer and no mistake my son!

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    1. It’s actually becoming more and more about prison life. The way things are going right now – it’s only a matter of time before everybody in this country will have to serve some time in jail.

      You didn’t break any laws? First of all – you don’t know that, because you don’t know the laws (nobody knows them, they’re nowhere to be found).

      And second – if you actually didn’t break any laws, they’ll make sure to pass some new laws for you to break.

      Romania is not a free country anymore. It’s an experimental police state.

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      1. There were plenty of villas before Ceausescu leveled hundreds of them in the 1980s.

        Renovating a Ceausescu bloc does nothing. It will still look horrendous even with cheap foam applied to the facade.

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      2. Those were cheap houses, not villas. We call them ‘maghernițe’. A villa is a villa, it requires some sort of social status behind it.

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      3. No, I’ve done extensive visual archival research of the Izvor, Uranus, Antim and Jewish neighborhoods and there were plenty of proper grand villas that Ceausescu leveled between 1983-1989.

        Living in a villa is not so expensive. If you are renting, yes, it about doubles your rent for the same sq meters in a bloc in Berceni. . .

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      4. A friend of mine sold 2 apartments back in 2009 and bought a house in Popesti-Leordeni, where he moved together with his family from 2 apartments.

        They’re still struggling today with finishing touches and small improvements. For years they didn’t even have a fence around the house because they couldn’t afford to build it.

        Living in a simple house is expensive, let alone a 19th century villa which requires special care.

        Living in a bloc is cheap and it could be cheaper if the blocs had proper insulation and an efficient centralized heating system.

        The entire world should learn to live in blocs so as to stop consuming resources.

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      5. It is true that living in a villa is more expensive as their is serious upkeep involved and living in an old one costs even more, but I can’t live in a bloc which constantly reminds me of communism. The atmosphere in places like Berceni or Militari is weird. I’m interested in the high aesthetic experience of Old Europe. You feel rooted in Bucharest’s past and cultural heritage when you live in an historic villa. It’s epic in a kind of erotic way!

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      6. I can’t get a hard on in those pre-WW2 villas with big rooms, tall ceilings and heavy doors… I feel much better in small rooms. Even back home I spend most of the time in the smallest room of the apartment.

        Villas remind me of an acquaintance of my grandmothers who used to sip the coffee by pointing her little finger to the outside.

        I always wondered why the hell doesn’t she keep her finger on the cup. And why does she have a Turkish Angora cat instead of having a normal cat like the rest of the world…

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      7. It’s more of being obsessed and inspired by aesthetics. When I lived on Panduri in a Ceausescu bloc in 2008-2009 I felt completely cut off from the city and in a strange, cold, grey communist world with unsmiling Romanians. With my historic villa there is a community of people all around and I am just a stone’s throw away from hipster cafes and bars and clubs and jasmine is in the air.

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      8. Bucharest like all cities are a unique prison that was actually built by the prisoners, YOU the citizen! Of course you are free to move freely about the prison and can return to your cell/apartment bloc as and when you choose. You even have your own set of keys to your cell. But it is very hard to escape your prison. Things like, work, mortgages, bank loans, car loans, childrens schools, shopping malls, billboards are all designed to keep you locked up forever in your prison that you call Bucharest.

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      9. I’m moving to London next year. I want to experience how it’s like to live in a society that has loads of money.

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      10. Loads of money? Then how come so many children in and around London go to bed each night hungry?

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      11. You must live in some sort of time-space bubble or some weird parallel universe that shares the same Internet as this one if you think living in a bloc is a matter of choice for most people.

        “There were plenty of villas before Ceausescu leveled hundreds of them in the 1980s.”

        Also you must also think the population of Bucharest numbers in the hundreds or low thousands if a few extra hundred villas would solve the “bloc problem”.

        “All the guys living in them wear track suits as if it’s the 1990s still.”
        Generalize much? It’s not just that what you’re saying sounds condescending. It’s also is stupid.

        Are you purposely trying to live up to the “hipster douche” stereotype?

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      12. Most of Bucharest shouldn’t even be here though. They are peasants forcibly moved here by Ceausescu.

        Living in a Ceausescu bloc is such a different experience of Bucharest compared to living in a villa. There are really two different Bucharests.

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      13. Living in a villa is a different experience compared to living in a small appartment anywhere in the world.

        Maybe you just like to brag about being able to afford living in a villa while most of the peasants live in a bloc?

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      14. Well, no I don’t like to brag. My point is that central historic Bucharest is amazing for its villas. In other European capitals the villas are mainly in the suburbs only. I guess I try to keep alive the mythic, legendary Bucharest pre-1982 when there were many other central neighborhoods with villas on hilly cobbelstoned streets. Of course any city has blocs too, but what Ceausescu did was not normal building hideous sets of blocs all over the center while leveling Izvor, Uranus, Antim, Unirii down to piata Alba Iulia.

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      15. Don’t worry. Bucharest will continue to be unique, even if at least some of us also want to see some progress.

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      16. And progress Bucharest is making. I feel as if I have stood still while Romanians have leaped ahead in the past 15 years. Bucharestians are now suddenly wearing the Patagonia outerwear and Oakley Sunglasses I was wearing back in 2000 and still do today. They have changed while I have not. I am no different than I was when I first arrived here while Bucharestians have completely changed themselves.

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      17. My knowledge of fashion doesn’t extend much beyond jeans and leather jackets, so I’m not sure if what you said is good or not 🙂

        That said, my desire to see progress extends towards more prosaic things like infrastructure.

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      18. I sold the Stefano Ricci shirt for $300. You lost the bargain…

        You know what I have for sale now? A brand new Prada red leather jacket which originally cost $2200 and I’m letting it go for only $500 !

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