Cleaner air for Bucharest?

Bucharest's Mayor Gabriela Firea wants to combat air pollution in the city by introducing controls on traffic. Among other measures a tax is to be levied on vehicles that drive through Bucharest. Residents of the city and surrounding areas would, however, be exempted from the tax. Opinions in the Romanian press are divided.

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Jurnalul National (RO) /

Let the nigglers niggle

Finally someone is tackling the root of the problem, Jurnalul National comments with delight:

“The mayor's proposal is now up for public debate and the vote in the city council is to take place this autumn, so that the regulations can take effect from 1 January 2020. The usual nigglers will now mobilise to counter the mayor's plan. ... Let's not forget that similar measures are already being applied in other European cities. For Bucharest they would be premiering and they should be supported. The problems of air pollution and congested traffic in the capital can't be resolved with palliative measures.”

Contributors (RO) /

Exhaust tax must apply to everyone

The mayor's proposal allows for too many exceptions, sociologist Sorin Ioniță writes on Contributors:

“A correct tax must apply to all vehicles no matter where they are registered, and of course also to local populations who are the main source of congestion in cities. ... A courageous mayor in Romania would be one who taxes car owners based on exhaust emissions and their impact on the city centre - regardless of who they vote for. ... Only then can such a plan be at all effective. But for that to be the case a mayor must defend his cause, persuade citizens using democratic means to cough up the tax, and not make exceptions for those who vote for him. Unfortunately we don't have such a mayor at present, either in Bucharest or in the rest of the country.”