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Népszabadság - Hungary | Monday, December 11, 2006

Bucharest - new center of the Balkans

Three weeks before Romania's accession to the EU, András Dési has discovered the new centre of the Balkans in Bucharest: a "bustling, vibrant, colourful" city that has "developed at breakneck speed... For Bucharest - its official population is 2.5 million, but weekday commuters swell that number to four million - the old clichés still fit. Behind the flag-bedecked Ministry for European Integration, stray dogs wander among piles of trash. Only five kilometres away is an encampment of Roma that is in terrible condition; its neighbours have erected a barbed-wire fence... Currently, mega-investors are waiting to sink a total of four billion euros into the city. The TriGránit Company is building a new district, the Esplanada City Center, whose modern apartment buildings are meant to compensate for the terrible view of the Palace of the People, built during the days of the dictator Ceausescu. Bucharest's economic development is limping five to ten years behind the other great cities of eastern central Europe, but there is no reason to write off the residents of Bucharest. Instead of just gabbing, they are getting down to business."

» To the complete press review of Tuesday, December 12, 2006

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