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30 NGOs of Moldova condemn the capital liberalization law for “upsetting anti-corruption efforts and discouraging honest taxpayers”

30 civil organizations launched a call to the Parliament, Government, society and development partners of Moldova, criticizing the legislative initiatives 451 and 452, the so-called “capital liberalization” and “fiscal stimulation” laws.

The NGOs condemn the insufficient discussion on the possible impact of these laws, being highly concerned about the total amnesty of persons, especially public officials, who got in their possession goods and properties in illegal ways. The civil society representatives argue that, since the priority of Filip Government seems to be anti-corruption fight, the initiatives 451 and 452 would reduce to zero the efficiency of integrity package recently approved by the Parliament and the respective integrity checks, but would also allow corrupt officials to keep their positions, while the honest taxpayers and other officials would be discouraged.

The authors of the appeal draw the attention that the fiscal and capital amnesty during 2007-2008 caused a 4 billion lei lack in the state budget, causing further schemes of theft and dilapidation between 2012 and 2016 like the concession of Chișinău airport and the banking laundromat.

The new laws authored by five deputies of the Parliament of Moldova proposes to install a state of liberalization of capital and fiscal stimulation for persons to declare capital that they previously hid or attributed to other persons. Moreover, the enterprises would be exempted from paying penalties, fees and unpaid taxes. Everything in exchange for a 2% tax.

Currently studying International Relations at the University of Pécs, Hungary. Study focus: Transnistrian conflict settlement, Moldovan statehood, Moldovan democracy.

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Moldova calls for an increase in export quotas on the EU market

The Republic of Moldova has asked the European partners to examine the possibility of increasing tariff quotas for a range of goods and products exported to the EU, as well as operating changes to the list of products subject to an anti-circumvention mechanism by increasing quotas for wheat, barley, corn, ethyl alcohol.

According to Deschide.MD, The request was made at the meeting of the Moldovan-EU Association Committee, in the Trade Configuration, which took place in Chisinau, is mentioned in a press release of the Ministry of Economy and Infrastructure.

The request of the Republic of Moldova was motivated by the fact that due to the constant support given by the EU and the structural developments, which have taken place in the last years in agriculture, the export potential of our country to certain categories of goods has considerably increased.

In this context, it was requested to increase tariff quotas for fresh grapes up to 25 thousand tons, fresh plums – 20 000 tons, cherries – 2 000 tons, as well as products subject to a circumvention mechanism – wheat – from 75 000 tons at 250,000 tons, barley – 70,000 tons per 100,000 tons, corn – from 130,000 tons to 250,000 tons, sugar – from 37,400 to 50,000 tons, processed cereals (alcohol) – from 2500 to 15 000 tons, etc.

It was emphasized that in the first eight months of this year, Moldova exported to the EU goods of about 915 million USD, representing 64.13% of our total exports, and within three years from the implementation of DCFTA the amount reaches about 3,8 billion USD.

The Agenda of the meeting also included a number of topics aimed at harmonizing national legislation in terms of intellectual property rights, public procurement, trade in services, quality infrastructure and market surveillance, trade-related energy issues as well as competition.

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Moldova Government pays back first tranche of “stolen billion” obligations to National Bank

On October 6th, Moldova’s Finance Ministry announced about transferring 668 million lei to the National Bank. The funds represent the first tranche of the so-called “payment of the stolen billion”: the Government pays back the central bank for the money loaned to the three banks that failed in 2014.

Out of the 668 million, 50 million lei accounted for the actual state obligations to the National Bank, while 618 million lei were for the interest rate for 2016-2017.

Although it is seen as a serious damage to Moldova’s finances and the use of taxpayer money, the payment allegedly helps to avoid the decapitalization of the National Bank that would lead to the incapacity to conduct adequate monetary policy, to receive international payments and even secure an agreement with the IMF.

Unpaid loans taken by Banca de Economii, Banca Socială, and Unibank from the National Bank in 2014 were transformed into public debt by the Government of Moldova with money from the National Bank. The payment of 13,5 billion lei would be made from the state budget during 25 years with a 5% interest rate.

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PM Filip: Moldova will not receive the €100 million EU assistance this year

The Republic of Moldova is not going to receive the expected tranches from the 100 million euros macro-financial assistance fund provided by the European Union. At least, in 2017. Quoted by Reuters, Prime-Minister Pavel Filip stated that the fund will not be disbursed

Quoted by Reuters, Prime-Minister Pavel Filip stated that the fund will not be disbursed because the Moldovan authorities have not fulfilled all of the 30 required conditions from the agreement. Moreover, the Finance Minister Octavian Armașu told Reuters that the budget for 2017 had foreseen two trances coming in Moldova’s budget, expressing confidence one would be disbursed in early 2018.

The €100 million macro-financial assistance for the Republic of Moldova consists of 60 million euros in loans and 40 million in grants. Previously, the European Parliament together with the European Commission committed to close monitoring of the democratic character of reforms, such as the electoral system reform. The EU Parliament also underlined that the assistance should support Moldova’s commitment to sound public finance management, fight against corruption and money laundering, the de-politicisation of public administration, an independent judiciary, the freedom of the media. In addition, the Commission promised to temporarily suspend or cancel payments of the €100 million, if agreed conditions are not met.

The main condition put by the EU was for the Moldovan governing coalition to ensure a fully democratic change of the electoral system, with a full consensus of all political forces. A significant part of the Moldovan civil society and five opposition parties does not agree at all with the change of the electoral system but recommend the improvement of the current proportional system and the media environment. The governing Democrats and the “opposition” Socialists are instead going with the mixed system.

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