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Four MEPs distance themselves from Ilan Shor, EPP warns it does not support Shor party

The five MEPs meeting with Ilan Shor, the "operator" of the Grand Moldovan Theft

24 January 2018- In a statement, four Italian members of the European Parliament from the EPP group denounced the way the Shor Party and some press outlets reported their recent visit to Orhei, the Moldovan city where the infamous banker Ilan Shor is mayor. The MEPs are Fulvio Martusciello, Stefano Maullu, Alberto Cirio and Salvatore Domenico Pogliese.

According to them, the visit was used to attack the center-right opposition in Moldova, to discredit the European People’s Party and to misguide the public opinion:

“We deeply regret the malicious manipulations by the Shor party and the press regarding our last visit to Moldova. This visit to Moldova was conducted in our private capacity and does not represent, in any way, the European People’s Party’s (EPP) intention nor wish to express support or to work with Ilan Shor or with the Shor party.The use of the visit by the media – controlled by the Shor party and the ruling party – to attack the opposition, shows a desperate attempt to discredit the EPP, the center-right opposition in Moldova and to misguide the public opinion. ”

The decision to distance from Shor comes after the EPP group declaration on the visit of the four Italian MEPs and another Czech EPP MEP, Tomas Zdechovsky.  According to the Foreign Affairs Coordinator of the EPP, Cristian Preda, the visit itself and the declarations of the given MEPs do not represent the position of the EPP in matters of foreign policy:

“The European People’s Party does not have anything in common with Mr.Shor and his party”, stated the Romanian MEPadding that Maia Sandu’s Action and Solidarity Party and Andrei Năstase’s Platform “Dignity and Truth” truly represents the pro-European, democratic forces with engagement to the anti-corruption fight Moldova needs.

The four MEPs and the EPP can have the right to be concerned about how Shor’s media reflected their visits: they allegedly pledged to support Shor in his political career, appreciated his projects in Orhei, even promised support in the investigation of the banking frauds, questioned the Kroll report.

Ironically, just after the release of the EPP statement, the Shor party issued a report on its Vice-President, Marina Tauber (Shor’s former business partner), meeting the Vice-President of the European Parliament, EPP-affiliated FIDESZ MEP, Livia Jaroka. The meeting was reportedly focused on “the role of women in politics” and the issues of “anti-semitism and xenophobia”.

EPP can issue statement after statement condemning Shor, but eventually, lobby groups will do their best with Shor’s money to make EPP MEPs or other figures available for meetings and discussions with the former banker or his associates.

Ilan Shor has other “supporters” in the European Parliament: French MEP Jean-Luc Schaffhauser (who helped French Presidential candidate Marine Le Pen obtain a 9 million euros loan from the First Russian-Czech Bank), Italian MEPs Elisabetta Gardini (VP of EPP, supporter of lifting personal sanctions against Russian officials), Lorenzo Fontana (Lega Nord). Schaffhauser, Fontana, and the above-mentioned Alberto Cirio visited the separatist entities in Eastern Ukraine, while Gardini failed to visit illegally-occupied Crimea. His sudden visits to the EP drew quite some attention in the international and national press.

A central figure of the Kroll report on the “Billion Theft”, Ilan Shor was sentenced to 7,5 years in prison for particularly large scams, money laundering. Shor is accused of obtaining more than 5 billion lei from Banca de Economii in loans, from 4th to 25th of November 2014, the sum being confirmed by the Kroll report, and then laundering them through offshore companies. Ilan Shor has been under preventive arrest since 22 June 2016 but then released in June 2017. He is currently the mayor of Orhei, a city in the center of Moldova.

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

Politics

A group of Democratic Party deputies demanded temporary suspension of President Igor Dodon

President Igor Dodon is on the brink of his fourth temporary suspension after he repeatedly refused to appoint two candidates as ministers.

Today, a group of deputies of the Democratic Party submitted a petition to the Constitutional Court, requesting “a statement of the circumstances justifying the interim president of the Republic of Moldova in order to overcome the constitutional blockade generated by the deliberate refusal to fulfill the constitutional obligation of the appointment of some members of the Government.”

Reminder: Although Prime Minister Pavel Filip declared he will insist on the two candidatures, Igor Dodon refuses to sign the decrees for the appointment of the new ministers proposed by PDM. Dodon said that Silvia Radu, proposed for the position of Minister of Health, would not be a specialist in the given field, and Nicolae Ciubuc, who was promoted to the Minister of Agriculture, would have problems of integrity.

Silvia Radu, proposed as Minister of Health, Labor and Social Protection

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Politics

Dodon refuses to appoint the two ministers. PM Filip will ask the CCM to suspend the president

The political spectacle continues. President Igor Dodon sent a letter to Prime Minister Pavel Philip informing him that he did not accept to nominate the two candidates for the positions of Minister of Health, Labor and Social Protection (Silvia Radu), as well as agriculture and food industry (Nicolae Ciubuc), proposed by the Democratic Party.

“I think everyone has to deal with what they’re better at. One needs to understand the difference between paracetamol and aspirin,” the head of state said.

Moreover, Igor Dodon believes that this is done in order to launch these candidates in the election campaign later on.

In reply, Prime Minister Pavel Filip said that President Igor Dodon’s refusal to accept the two proposed ministers is a new violation of the Constitution.

“We will address the Constitutional Court to call for a solution to this institutional blockage that the head of state is trying to provoke,” the prime minister declared.

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James Pettit: The process of European integration is slowing down

Compared to the year 2016, Moldova’s European integration process has recently slowed down. The statement belongs to the US Ambassador to Chisinau, James Pettit. During a show at TVR Moldova television, the diplomat mentioned that a cause of the slowdown may be the fact that the Republic of Moldova is on the verge of parliamentary elections, IPN reports.

The ambassador considers that the biggest challenge in terms of European integration of the Republic of Moldova is corruption, which exists in all areas. At the same time, the diplomat claims that there are several areas that are not working well, including the legal sector that has not made much progress in recent years. As a national tragedy, the ambassador called the migration of the population of the Republic of Moldova.

The Ambassador said that the US is providing training through its programs for judges, lawyers, and civil servants.

“From time to time we have experts in the US or in Europe who can train these officials,” declared Pettit.

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