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Dumitru Alaiba: Vlad Plahotniuc has a Czech nationality as well?

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Deputy of the ‘ACUM’ bloc Dumitru Alaiba wonders whether the former DPM leader and oligarch Vlad Plahotniuc is Czech citizen. He recently posted an extract from what appears to be a document saying this:

According to the deputy, on June 4, Plahotniuc tried to open a new company in the UK.

“It seems that Vladimir Plahotniuc, before being taken down from the government, was busy with business development. On June 4, 2019, he was trying to open a new company in the UK – with a Czech passport. There’s nothing illegal, of course. It’s just that I didn’t know about it” wrote Alaiba on his personal blog.

The deputy urged Moldovan diaspora in London to visit the address from the document, in case they are in the area.

Read more: Vlad Plahotniuc made good use of his passport long before he became a political man

Important

The EU and WHO delivered COVID-19 critical supplies to support healthcare institutions from Moldova

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A shipment of critical medical supplies (1.5 million pieces of personal protective equipment) was delivered to Chisinau to help frontline healthcare workers in the Republic of Moldova. The supplies were funded by the European Union and procured by the World Health Organisation (WHO) and included 1 210 000 medical masks, 348 000 N95 respirators, 16 200 goggles, and 36 000 protective gowns, according to a press release published on the page of the Delegation of the European Union to the Republic of Moldova.

This is one of the biggest humanitarian aids offered to healthcare system employees from Moldova. Peter Michalko, Ambassador of the EU to the Republic of Moldova, and WHO Representative in the Republic of Moldova, Igor Pokanevych, handed over the equipment to the Ministry of Health, Labour and Social Protection at an event today, where ambassadors of other EU member states were present as well.

The donation of medical supplier is part of a larger assistance package to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 in the country. The entire assistance includes also 330 000 gloves, 356 oxygen concentrators, 41 patients monitors, 40 ventilators, 215 pulse oximeters, 1500 kits for laboratory tests, and 12 000 kits for samples collection in the total amount of 2.8 million euro, as it is stated in the same press release.

“In these difficult times, the European Union stands by the Republic of Moldova. The “Solidarity for Health” initiative is a concrete example on how the EU supports the Moldovan healthcare system to fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. We trust that the supply of medical devices and personal equipment will be of benefit to both frontline healthcare workers, as well as to all Moldovan citizens,” highlighted Peter Michalko.

“The delivery of this protective equipment, made possible thanks to the generous contribution of the European Union, will go far in reducing the risk healthcare workers in our country face in their daily work and help protect them, patients and vulnerable people from this virus,” added Igor Pokanevych, WHO Representative and Head of the WHO Country Office in the Republic of Moldova

 “We express our gratitude for the medical equipment offered by the European Union and the WHO – strategic partners in the fight against COVID-19 infection. It will be distributed to all medical institutions in the country, to protect frontline heroes,” said Minister Viorica Dumbrăveanu.

The donation of the personal protective equipment, as well as medical and laboratory devices is part of the EU’s response program to the outbreak of COVID-19. On March 27, the EU announced an assistance package worth 30 million euro to help prevent, detect and respond to the COVID-19 pandemic in several countries of eastern Europe, including Moldova. Initially, the funds are supposed to be used to meet immediate emergency needs, such as procuring essential supplies and training for healthcare workers. In the longer term, the assistance will go towards strengthening the country’s capacity to respond to public health emergencies, informed the EU Delegation to the Republic of Moldova representatives.

Photo: Mika Baumeister| Unsplash

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The state of Public Health Emergency was again prolonged in Moldova

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The National Extraordinary Public Health Commission (NEPHC) decided, on July 10, that the state of Public Health Emergency must be prolonged again until July 31, taking into consideration the large numbers of confirmed COVID-19 cases that continue to be recorded in the Republic of Moldova.

As the the Ministry of Health, Labour and Social Protection (MHLSP) informed, previously imposed restrictions still remain in place.

For example, restrictions regarding keeping social distance, hand hygiene rules, wearing masks in public transport, commercial spaces and closed public spaces, are maintained.  Also, there are restrictions, such as groups of maximum 3 people in public spaces, meetings with the participation of maximum 50 people with a strict evidence of their identity, restricted access to public spaces of people aged 63 and over, no private events, as well as nightclubs, educational, cultural, sport centres, rest camps, treatment institutions, cinemas, concert halls, theatres remain closed.

As of the NEPHC decision no. 20 of July 10, the access of foreign citizens and stateless persons is still forbidden on the territory of Moldova, with the following exceptions:

  • family members of the citizens of the Republic of Moldova;
  • persons holding a long-stay visa, a residence permit or a document equivalent to a residence permit issued by the authorities;
  • persons being on business trips, proved by a visa, residence permit or other equivalent document;
  • members of diplomatic missions and consular posts accredited in Republic of Moldova, of international organisations / missions, as well as members of their families or personnel who provide humanitarian aid;
  • passengers in transit, including those who are repatriated;
  • people travelling for health and humanitarian reasons (with the presentation of confirmatory documents);
  • cross-border workers;
  • drivers and service personnel, performing transportation of goods, crews and service personnel of aircraft, ships and trains.

Persons who enter the Republic of Moldova during this period have to fill in an epidemiological form, as well as a declaration on their own responsibility to comply with the self-isolation regime of 14 days in determined places.

Exception to the self-isolation provisions is established for the following categories of persons (if they do not show clinical signs of respiratory infection or fever):

  • drivers and service personnel, performing transportation of the goods, crews and service personnel of aircraft, ships and trains;
  • persons travelling for health or humanitarian reasons;
  • pupils and students, enrolled in abroad educational units, which have to take tests or exams;
  • persons being on business trips, proved by a visa, residence permit or other equivalent document;
  • cross-border workers;
  • members of diplomatic missions and consular posts accredited in Republic of Moldova, of international organisations / missions, as well as members of their families or personnel who provide humanitarian aid;
  • people in transit.

The COVID-19 pandemic had a significant social, economic and psychological impact on the population of the Republic of Moldova. According to a sociological study, conducted by the company Intelligent Data, the main negative effects of the COVID-19 pandemic are related to the lack of communication (33.8%), restricted travelling (33.6%), but also reduced incomes (23%).

At the same time, respondents also mentioned some positive effects of the pandemic, such as spending more time in the family (45.7%), savings due to reduced consumption (17.3%) and more time for hobbies (14.8%).

The MHLSP reported lately 19 208 confirmed cases of coronavirus, including 12 667 cases of people who recovered and 641 cases of death.

The evolution of daily new cases in Moldova| Source: MHLSP

Photo: Inquam Photos| Octav Ganea

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Diaspora

Record remittances sent to Moldova during the COVID-19 pandemic – expert’s explanation

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The remittances sent by Moldovans from abroad reached a record level in May 2020. The last time there was a larger amount of money transferred from abroad was only in October 2014.

The economic policy expert Veaceslav Ioniță believes that the significant increase is, paradoxically, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. According to his estimations, during the period of April-May, when there were quarantine and closed borders, Moldovan citizens could not bring into the country around $150 million. Part of this money were transferred through official transfer systems, that reducing the amount of unofficial transfers, is noted in the opinion published on the page of the Institute for Development and Social Initiatives (IDSI) “Viitorul”.

According to the expert, one third of all money from abroad are usually transferred to Moldova through informal ways, without using any official money transfer channels. “Each year, Moldovans receive almost $1.2 billion through official transfers, but also they sell on the foreign exchange market about $2.1 billion. The difference of 900 million dollars per year is the money that is introduced into the country through informal ways,” said the expert.

The total recorded transfers between April to May amounted $227 million, that being $14 million more than in 2019. At the same time, the foreign exchange sales during this period represented only 50% of the last year’s amount – $259 million. “April and May 2020 were the only two months in the history of transfers, when the money came almost exclusively through official channels. This explains this ‘miraculous’ growth,” concluded Veaceslav Ioniță.

The number of Moldovan citizens aged 15 and over who were working or were looking for a job abroad was 352 700 in 2018, according to the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) data. That represented 35,68% of the total available workforce of the country in the same year.

People living in the Republic of Moldova, along with the whole economy of the country, are greatly dependant on the remittances sent by Moldovan citizens who live abroad. About 20% of all families with children in Moldova are supported by a family member who is a migrant. The concentration of such families in rural areas is three times higher than in urban areas, according to data from the NBS cited by the UNDP Moldova.

This money represent not only an important source of income for people living in Moldova, but also contribute to the increase of GDP nominal value. In 2018, the Republic of Moldova has been listed the 9th in a world ranking of remittances related to GDP, with a share of 16,1%, according to the World Bank data.

See also: Who? How? Where? Why? The migration profile of the Republic of Moldova

Due to the negative impact of COVID-19, remittances sent to Moldova are expected to decrease by 24-27% in the future, informed the UNDP Moldova. Decreasing remittance flows were predicted by the World Bank in the whole world. It was estimated that about 17% of all migrants have already stopped remitting to their families. In such a way, 23,4% of Moldovan households risk to be placed below the poverty line if they did not receive remittances.

Photo: Sharon McCutcheonUnsplash

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