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Fire breaks out in Chișinău storage facility. One firefighter dead, one person declared missing

Firefighters in Chișinău have been battling the flames at a storage facility in Moldova’s capital for more than 24 hours. The source of the conflagration has been located at around 1:30 PM today.

The fire broke out some time around 10 AM on Friday. A total of 18 firetrucks and 100 firemen have been dispatched.

One firefighter has dies fighting the flames, while 8 others are injured. Two of the persons in the building were evacuated, while a third one, a 44-years old woman, has been declared missing.

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Politics

IRI poll: 49% of Moldovans support joining EU, Igor Dodon’s approval rating at 48%

The International Republican Institute published the results of the latest Public Opinion Survey of Residents of Moldova. The survey touches upon topics like the pace of change in Moldova, public satisfaction with government and presidency, political preferences, foreign policy choices and media choices.

According to Stephen Nix, IRI Regional Director for Eurasia, the dramatic increase in the number of Moldovans who feel the country is headed in the wrong direction indicates that the optimism that followed the November 2016 presidential election has soured. Nix believes that the high dissatisfaction is related to the unstable economy and the rampant corruption- issues that need to be addressed by the government.

Nix sees the high support for EU membership among young Moldovans as a signal that citizens increasingly favor a more European-oriented approach to the economy.

Source: iri.org

The pace of change in Moldova does not satisfy Moldovans:

Source: iri.org

Low income/pensions, Unemployment, and Corruption remain to be the most important problems for Moldovans:

Source: iri.org

Few Moldovans think the economic situation improved in Moldova:

Source: iri.org

But some are a bit more hopeful about the future of the economy:

Source: iri.org

Causes of corruption are diverse in the opinion of Moldovans:

Source: iri.org

And contrary to the previous opinion polls, Moldovans now find more corruption within the high-profile institutions like the Parliament and less related to the regular public servants:

Source: iri.org

Few Moldovans are satisfied with the way democracy is developing in Moldova:

Source: iri.org

But at the same time, 54% (+21% to a certain extent) chose to prioritize economic prosperity over the democracy in Moldova:

Source: iri.org

More Moldovans support or favor the introduction of the mixed electoral system:

Source: iri.org

Moldovans also believe that the majority of them are afraid to speak up and express their political views:

Source: iri.org

The Moldovan Orthodox Church stays as the institution with the best image, but it is challenged by the Romanian Orthodox Church:

Source: iri.org

83% of Moldovans do not want to donate to the political party they support:

Source: iri.org

Most of the people are dissatisfied with the actions of the Parliamentary majority led by the Democratic Party:

Source: iri.org

Igor Dodon stays as the most trusted politician in Moldova, while Maia Sandu has only 15% of trust. 38% say they don’t trust anyone:

Source: iri.org

The popularity of President Dodon’s actions is also contestable:

Most Moldovans disapprove the Democrat Government led by Pavel Filip, although a big part somewhat approves it:

Source: iri.org

In case of Parliamentary elections, 34% of people would vote for the Socialists’ Party, 23% for the Action and Solidarity Party and 9% for the Democratic Party led by the oligarch Vlad Plahotniuc.

Source: iri.org

The popularity of the EU membership increased to a three-year high:

Source: iri.org

Most of the EU supporters are young:

Source: iri.org

Support for joining NATO remains low among Moldovans:

Source: iri.org

More Moldovans believe Transnistria should be an ordinary region of Moldova without any autonomous status:

Source: iri.org

The survey was coordinated by Dr. Rasa Alisauskiene from Baltic Surveys/The Gallup Organization on behalf of the Center for Insights in Survey Research. The fieldwork was carried out by Magenta Consulting. The survey was conducted throughout Moldova (with the exception of Transnistria) from September 23 to October 17, 2017, through face-to-face interviews in respondents’ homes. The sample consisted of 1,514 permanent residents of Moldova aged 18 and older and eligible to vote and is representative of the general population by age, gender, education, region, and settlement size. The response rate was 65 percent. The survey was funded by the United States Agency for International Development.

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Society

BREAKING: Over 170 drug investigations in process. Narcotics worth up to 8.5M lei were found

Anti-drug operations unprecedented, several criminal groups dismantled by the police.

More than 170 narcotics investigations are taking place all over the country. The operation is carried out by the territorial prosecutors, along with the Anti-Drug Directorate of the INI of the PIA of the MAI, the Police Directorate of the Chisinau municipality, in cooperation with the territorial police inspectorates.

70 estimated investigations resulted in the detention of 19 people with over 20 kg of drugs.

More specifically, more than 4 kg of synthetic drugs, 7 kg of marijuana, 5 kg of poppy plants, 2 kg of ethno-botanicals, 650 kg of MDMA pills, heroin, herb with hemp plants and dried hemp plants.

At the same time, three illegally held firearms (pistols), more than 200 battle cartridges and over 500.000 lei were discovered and picked up.

According to estimates made by police officers, the total value of drugs seized to date amounts to about 8.5 million lei.

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Important

US Ambassador in Moldova: An empowered media isn’t always pleasant for those of us in the government

The United States Ambassador to Moldova, H.E. James D. Pettit, delivered a strong speech in defense of the press on the occasion of the International Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists.

Ambassador Pettit underlined that a free and independent media is the cornerstone of democracy. The American diplomat confessed that he is often asked difficult questions, but recognizes the strong media makes his work better:

“But through it all, a strong media makes us better.  It forces us to look at our policies and ask:  Does this make sense?  Does it actually accomplish what we are trying to do?  Does it support the core democratic values we hold dear?  A free and independent media is the whetstone against which the sword of truth and justice is sharpened.”

His Excellency did not forget to stress out that the United States of America monitors the cases of harassment of journalists in Moldova and the US will continue to defend Moldovan media:

“We are troubled when we receive reports, as we have this year in Moldova, of alleged harassment of journalists.  We monitor these reports closely and urge the government of Moldova to respond swiftly to all such cases.  It’s what all legitimate governments must do.  The United States will continue to do everything in our power to ensure the democratic principles of a free and open media are protected in the Republic of Moldova.”

Read the full speech here.

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