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Chișinău Airport is building a new 2,4 km runway to renovate the old 3590 m one

On March 20th, “Avia Invest”, the company that manages the Chișinău International Airport, announced about building a new 2400 m runway until May 2017.

The D 2400 meters long and 45 wide runway is being built, so that starting from May 2017 the old 3590 meters runway can be repaired without disturbing the air traffic at the airport.

The new runway is built by the German “Strabag Grup” together with the Moldovan “Exfactor-Grup”. According to Avia Invest manager, Petru Jardan, the runways will not work at the same time when both are ready.

The project costs are estimated at 15-16 million euros, but Jardan refused to name who is the investor, stressing to ask for information at the State Registration Chamber.

The International Airport of Chișinău concession to Avia-Invest under dubious conditions in 2013 has been a subject of controversy in the Moldovan society as a case of high-level corruption. Avia-Invest is considered to be an off-shore company with dubious shareholders and almost no experience in the aviatic services industry. The even more dubious businessman and mayor of Orhei, Ilan Shor, is the head of the administration council of Avia-Invest. Shor’s Air Klassica, a service provider in the airport, received a 40,4 million lei loan from the defrauded Unibank in 2014.

Even if the AntiCorruption Center recommended the cancelling of the contract in August 2015, the Justice Minister Vladimir Cebotari found no reasons for that and the prosecutors didn’t do anything to investigate the concession of the Chișinău airport, in the context of its rapidly growing traffic and profit.

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

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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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Moldova has fully fulfilled the plum export quota in the EU market

The Republic of Moldova exported 10 400 tonnes of fresh and dried plums on the European Union market by October 1. Thus, the plum export quota, which provides for 10 thousand tons, has been fully exploited.

Compared to last year, plum exports to the Community market increased by about 40 percent. In order to fulfill contractual obligations with European partners, growers are asking for an increase in the prunes export quota.

The largest quantities of fresh and dried plums were delivered to the Romanian markets (4240 tonnes), Poland (4300 tonnes), Latvia (610 tonnes), Czech Republic (373 tonnes).

Today, Moldovan plums are sold in 10 European Union countries, where the selling price is convenient for Moldovan fruit growers. Until now, the European importers have not yet complained about the quality of the Moldovan products.

Prunes are being exported by 96 companies, which have delivered around 40 thousand tons abroad since the beginning of the year. A considerable amount of fruit is exported to Russia, – 18415 tons, 9 thousand tons less than last year.

The geography of fruit exports has expanded, plums being exported for the first time this year to the US, Canada and other countries.

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