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Economy

5 uncommon businesses in Moldova we bet you didn’t know about

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All of them work really hard to see their dreams come true. All of them took risks when investing money, work, equipment and time into their businesses. All of them are great, representing our country and its heritage at home and abroad. There are many more unique businesses like this in Moldova. It’s just that they are not yet discovered by the public eye. For now, check out those presented below.

Biantti – ecological almonds and sea buckthorn products

Biantti is the only local producer of organic flour, cold pressed oil and almond flakes, which is certified as being ecological in the Republic of Moldova.

The owner of a 7 hectares almond orchard, a 10 hectares walnut orchard, a 5 hectares sea buckthorn orchard, as well as the producing factory is Igor Golban. He came back to Moldova after he graduated his studies in France and started the almond business in the village he was born.

By taking the technology from Germany, the planting material from Romania and accessing funds from several sources, including non-reimbursable funds, the idea of growing almonds became reality.

source: madein.md

Besides the almond and walnut oil and flour, briquettes made out of shells, sea buckthorn leaves tea, the producer sells also dried fruits, pumpkin seeds, flax, hemp and cumin oil, pumpkin, as well as flax flour.

“We have a total of 7 generations of nuts and almonds trees. Last year, we gathered 12-14 tons of almonds. This year, around 7-8 tons,” declared Igor Golban.

Only 15% of the volume of the products are exported, the rest remains in the country, being used in Moldovan kitchens.

The owners of this business – Mr. and Mrs. Malancea launched it after the retirement. The pasta and home made noodles are produced from organic ingredients. It is so good that most kindergartens and schools in the region buy pasta from the Malancea family. The couple plans also to export the goods abroad.

“80% of our production is represented by homemade noodles. Moldovans love homemade products,” said Mr. Malancea.

Source: masainfamilie.ro

Every day, 8 employees work at the factory in Antonești. During one day, they use at least 2000 eggs, needed in the production process. Generally, over a ton of pasta is produced in the factory for one day.

The noodles are prepared after a traditional recipe, as they are prepared at home. After the pasta and noodles are dried for 8 hours, the package process comes in place.

Still, Malancea spouses revealed that the biggest problem they have to face is the shortage of skilled labour, as a lot of such workers prefer to work abroad.

Green – handcrafted soap made of natural ingredients

Ivan Chiriac is a beekeeper  who creates honey products and handmade soaps with different natural additions. He can quickly name his products’ properties and has a great passion for what he is doing.

The young man said that it all started with the purchase of the first hive. Then he took what the bees produce and managed to open a small workroom near his house, where he and his partner started to produce honey goods and natural soaps.

source: ea.md

“After discovering the properties of honey, I started to produce different products derived from it, such as solid shampoo and natural soaps, with various additions of plants or oils,” claimed Ivan.

The entire composition of solid shampoo and soap produced at the Ivan’s workroom is based on natural products, such as vegetable oils, seeds, honey, everything being indicated on the label.

Brânza de Popeasca – a unique kind of cheese protected by the European Commision

About Cheese from Popeasca we already wrote in a previous article. It is one of the few authentic products from Moldova that were qualified as products with a protected designation of origin. Once it obtained such a labelling, it can no longer be manufactured according to the same recipe and the same name anywhere in the world. “Brânza de Popeasca” is a cheese made with different additional ingredients like dill, parsley, olives, bell pepper and other kinds of cheese.

source: moldnova.eu

Vadim and Mariana Osipov are the households that manage a farm of 200 heads. Their customers are several restaurants and supermarkets in Chișinău. These people face daily a lot of difficulties, from human factor to climatic conditions. Despite all the hardships, they never give up and continue to work for developing their business and taking it to a new stage.

FROM THE HEART.SHOP – the online shop where only Moldovan goods are sold

FROM THE HEART.SHOP aimed to be the first online store in the Republic of Moldova where products manufactured and created in Moldova were collected in one place. It was set out to create a bridge between Moldovan producers and consumers, wherever they are, as it facilitated the online purchase of the goods desired and their delivery in any corner of the world.

source: fromtheheart.shop

The online platform was founded by a group of enthusiastic people led by Nata Albot, a blogger, TV producer, journalist and a media manager from Moldova.

There online shop sells all kinds of clothing products, shoes, cosmetics, accessories, books and household items from 28 Moldovan brands and there is still room for more.

Photo: Getty Images (Opolja)

Politics

A leopard never changes its spots or the ambitions of President Igor Dodon

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Recently, a minority government was established in the Republic of Moldova at the initiative of the Moldovan president – Igor Dodon. It was formed of only one party – the Party of Socialists of the Republic of Moldova (PSRM) – which is unofficially led by Igor Dodon (according to the law, the president can’t be a member of a political party). The socialists helped by democrats (the Democratic Party of Moldova – DPM) offered the confidence vote to the Government led by Ion Chicu, who is a closely connected person to the president. Therefore, President Dodon has now more and more influence on the key state institutions for promoting his own vision on how the things should be done in the Republic of Moldova. How is that possible? Let’s take it one by one.

The Parliament

On November 12th, the government led by Maia Sandu fell as a result of the no-confidence motion submitted by PSRM in the Parliament. The representatives of the previous government coalition (PSRM and the political bloc ACUM) couldn’t reach a compromise regarding submitting the list of candidates for the position of Prosecutor General. The no-confidence motion was voted by 63 Members of the Parliament (MPs) – 34 MPs from PSRM and 29 deputies from DPM.

The next day, socialists declared their support for the initiative of President Igor Dodon to create a minority Government. “It will be made up of professionals, apolitical and technocratic people, to ensure the good development and progress of the Republic of Moldova. […] The next Government will be a technocratic one, not a political one. However, the Government will have all the powers to implement the economic and social projects that the PSRM has promoted so far.” it was said in a PSRM statement.

Political experts though, have very big doubts that an apolitical minority government controlled by one political party is possible, from the very beginning, being clear that it will be directly connected to PSRM and President Dodon.

In such a way, beside assuming the responsibility for the minority government in Moldova, PSRM is currently represented by the speaker and the vice-president of the Parliament, as well as by four members of the Permanent Bureau of the legislative power.

The Government

The new prime minister along with the new Government were appointed as quick as lighting, President Dodon said there is no reason to wait 90 days as the law stipulates and Ion Chicu (the former adviser of the President Dodon) was appointed the prime minister of the country. In reality, all of it seemed like a hell of a plan: ruling in a coalition to gain credibility internationally and, at the proper moment, getting rid of it and establishing a new, controllable Government with the support of own political party.

Beside Prime Minister Ion Chicu, there are five more former advisers to the head of state who were appointed Ministers in the new Cabinet, as well as the PSRM lawyer. That is one of the reasons why the newly established Government can’t be categorised as apolitical by political analysts and civil society.

The first signs of attempting to control the Government were openly manifested at the first sitting of the Cabinet of Ministers, which was personally chaired by the President Dodon, even though that challenges the principle of separation of power in a state. The sitting was suddenly and without any explanation held behind closed doors, albeit it was initially announced as public.

“The Government led by Chicu is meant to solve problems certainly in the interests of society, but especially in the interests of the head of state. This is obvious,” declared the analyst Igor Boțan for FRE/RL.

source: gov.md| President Dodon sat on the Prime Minister’s chair, Prime Minister Chicu is on his right.

Former Prime Minister Maia Sandu declared that she had information about negotiations between President Dodon, socialists and democrats to tear down the government since September. “No matter if we had assumed the responsibility (for the  amendments to the Law on Prosecutor’s Office) or not, the government would have been anyway dismissed.[…] I was aware that, once Plahotniuc was away, Dodon would also try to subordinate the state institutions, but we could not fight both Plahotniuc and Dodon at the same time. We had to get rid of the most toxic first. The fact that Dodon subsequently violated the agreements with ACUM, showed his true self,” said Maia Sandu in an interview for G4Media.ro.

The Prosecutor General

The General Prosecutor’s Office (GPO) has a new Prosecutor General – Alexandr Stoianoglo, the only candidate (out of 4 proposed) who previously had a political (DPM) affiliation. President Igor Dodon signed the decree and presented him to the GPO. Everything happened in less than 24 hours since the interviews with candidates were conducted. “The appointment of the Prosecutor General is a long awaited moment, in order to overcome the deadlock of the General Prosecutor’s Office. I reiterate that, nowadays, the Republic of Moldova cannot afford to maintain a key institution in a semi-functional regime,” declared Igor Dodon.

Despite the lawsuit filed by the deputy of Prosecutor General Eduard Bulat against the Ministry of Justice, as well as the allegations made by former Minister of Justice Olesea Stamate, the same list of four candidates for the position of Prosecutor General was transmitted to the Superior Council of Prosecutors (SCP) by the decision of the new Minister of Justice, Fadei Nagacevschi.

More details on the subject here.

“The political situation that took place around the dismissal of the Government led by Sandu and the appointment of the Government led by Chicu was the high stake of President Igor Dodon to obtain and take control of the Prosecutor General, which would give him personal comfort and neutralise any surprise that could have appeared in the case of an independent prosecutor, as well as would ensure him a smooth election campaign and the second term in the next presidential elections,” opinated the economic expert Veaceslav Negruța in a press conference organised by IPN and Radio Moldova.

Media control

Accent TV (one of four TV stations affiliated with PSRM) has been renamed “the First in Moldova” and has obtained the right to re-transmit the broadcasts of the Russian main TV station Pervii Kanal. After the creation of “the First in Moldova” TV channel, Telesistem TV SRL (the founder of Accent TV) requested to the Audiovisual Council (AC) to issue a new broadcast license for the TV station Accent TV. Previously, Prime TV, a TV station affiliated with the former democrat leader Vladimir Plahotniuc, had this exclusive right.

Additionally, two other televisions – NTV Moldova, which re-transmits the Russian NTV channel, and Exclusiv TV, which re-transmits the Russian TV station TNT – are both administered by Exclusiv Media SRL, founded by the PSRM member Corneliu Furculiță.

As a result of these events, several NGOs from Moldova expressed their concern about the latest decisions of the AC, which would, according to them, stimulate media monopolisation in the Republic of Moldova. Also, the NGOs drew the attention of the AC members to the fact that PSRM affiliated TV stations reflect the most important topics on the public agenda by strongly favouring and promoting the PSRM members.

“It may happen that we will have an ideology that dominates the country again. We already had a time when everyone was thinking the same way. This led to nothing. The history repeats itself. When the government is changing, the redistribution of the media market is beginning. It’s sad. It proves that we didn’t develop as a society, as a state or as a political culture,” said the media expert Ion Bunduchi.

**

Igor Dodon is one of the most trusted persons in the Moldovan society. According to the last survey performed by the Public Opinion Fund, 26% of respondents said they trust President Igor Dodon the most. Therefore, having the society’s support, control over media and the most important state institutions, it seems that the plans of President Dodon to gain the second presidential seat and switch to the presidential system have a big potential to become true. But will they?

Photo: gov.md

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Economy

Moldova will receive two grants of about 12 million dollars from the USA

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The United States will offer two grants of a total amount of $ 12 million to Moldova, under two previously signed between the USA and Moldova agreements. According to a press release of Ministry of Finance of the Republic of Moldova, the money will be offered in the form of technical assistance.

The first grant will supplement the total amount of the Assistance Agreement between the Government of the Republic of Moldova and the Government of the United States of America for a more efficient and responsible democratic governance, which amounts $ 6.6 million, reaching a total value of $ 50.8 million.

The main objective of the program is to ensure a democratic, efficient and responsible government in the Republic of Moldova, by involving citizens in the decision-making process of the Government, ensuring a more transparent and responsible judiciary, and creating conditions for local public authorities to be more involved in solving citizens’ needs.

The second grant represents a supplement to the Assistance Agreement between the Government of the Republic of Moldova and the Government of the United States of America for the increase of trade and investments in key sectors, which adds up $ 5.4 million, reaching a total value of $ 48,4 million.

The objective of the program is to increase competitiveness, improve the business climate and the regulatory framework, to increase access to finance, to improve the skills of the workforce and to fight corruption.

Recently, the US Ambassador to the Republic of Moldova, Dereck J. Hogan, emphasised that external partners want to see a Government implementing reforms, otherwise the country will be lacking financial support. “We want the current Government to continue implementing reforms in the same way. External partners insist on continuing to implement reforms. If external partners, including the US, will not see progress, of course we will stop funding,” the ambassador said.

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Culture

A building from Chișinău was declared “the ugliest building in the world”

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The “Romanița” building in the center of the Moldovan capital has been named by the French journalists as “the ugliest building in the world” in a documentary produced by Arte TV. The film is part of a French project that talks about socialist buildings, which are now abandoned.

This disappointed the artist from Moldova Tatiana Fiodorova, who appears as the protagonist in the documentary film and afterwards filed a complaint against the French channel Arte.TV.  “The documentary is more like an anti-communist horror movie than a research film. They cut and pasted the sequences in such a way that it changed the meaning of the words I said during the interview,” claimed the artist. Shortly after, Arte.TV renamed the documentary to “Moldova: The Colossal Communist Tower”.

Source: noi.md

The “Romanița” building has a height of about 73 meters, being the second tallest building in Chișinău. It has 22 floors, out of which 16 are inhabited by over 300 residents. A few years ago, this building attracted the attention of a team of Polish designers who made a selection of constructions from Eastern European countries that deserve attention, and which in time would degrade if no one intervenes.

In 2009, “Romanița” inspired Tatiana Fiodorova to realise an art project where she presented the uniqueness of this construction and the need to keep it. In this regard, she was contacted by several French journalists from Arte.TV who proposed to talk about the project and about the history of this building. “The filming for the documentary took 2 days. I talked about the project and how we collaborated with the locals, to give this building a new chance. The film’s producers asked me to invite some locals I told about. Some of them accepted. Now, the meaning of their message was transformed into a political one, although during the filming there was no ideological context, ” argued the artist.

Photo: noi.md

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