Foreign diplomats who park as they please around the United Nations owe the city big bucks, and Rep. Anthony Weiner is not about to let it ride. He's got a plan to make diplomats pay for their $18 milllion worth of infractions by hitting their countries where it hurts. (And no, he's not talking about stealing their models.)
It turns out that some of the most ornery parkers are diplomats from the very countries that receive the most U.S. aid. “It’s insulting to all New Yorkers that countries like Yemen, Zimbabwe and Iran owe the city millions in unpaid parking tickets,” Weiner told City Room. Since 2001, the State Department has been allowed to withhold aid in the amount the country owes, but Weiner's legislature would return the withheld funds to New York. “The law passed in 2001 was a step in the right direction,” he said, “but my bill will ensure that the money we receive from diplomatic parking fees goes directly where it belongs — into the coffers of New York City.”
According to a 2006 study conducted by the National Bureau of Economic Research, diplomats from corrupt countries were more likely to have unresolved payments, as were diplomats from countries with “less favorable popular views of the United States." Currently Egypt is the number one offender. If Weiner's law passes, the country's $2.1 million loss in foreign aid will be handed over to the city. Now if only he could do something about those domestic transgressors.