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Mayor Barry Says D.C. Gets No Respect

Mon., Feb. 17, 1997, midnight

The French treat Paris as a “grande dame” and Beijing is the “crown jewel” of China, but among the world’s capital cities, Washington is a stepchild, Mayor Marion Barry said Sunday.

Structurally deficient and barred from collecting taxes, the nation’s capital cannot enjoy services like other major cities have, Barry said on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”

The mayor said that if the city’s financial control board does not let him refinance debt to balance the district’s budget, he will be forced to cut services such as police, fire protection and schools.

“Every country in the world treats its capital a lot better than this country treats us,” Barry complained. “The French treat Paris as the grande dame of that situation. The British treat London - even in Communist China, where I was in Beijing recently, they treat Beijing as a crown jewel.”

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