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I would be ashamed! If I’d ripped off my nation as these motherf#ckers have ripped of Moldova, I’d be ashamed to show my face.”

The vlogger told his subscribers about the “billion dollar bill theft” and criticizes politicians who “have done nothing in their 30 years of independence.”

He pointed out that after the collapse of the USSR, the citizens of the Republic of Moldova hoped that a better life awaits them.I

“In Soviet times, Moldova was a well-run, efficient republic. Soviets used to come from all over the SU here. It was warm, there was good wine here, […]. But then independence came, and people wished for something better. But what did they receive instead? They’ve received nothing but Governments that ripped them off, embezzled cash, escaped the country with stolen billions, and the people are left here to pick up the pieces,” he concluded.

Watch episode 2 here:

Currently studying Interactive/Media/Design at the Royal Academy of Art. Based in The Hague, The Netherlands.

Economy

In the coronavirus economic crisis: attempts to help the most affected sectors

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The National Extraordinary Public Health Commission issued recently a decision, according to which the activity of shops, restaurants, fitness centres, concert halls, theatres, cinemas, museums must be stopped by April 1. The adopted measure is related to the state of emergency declared by the Parliament of the Republic of Moldova throughout the territory of the country until May 15.

As a consequence, business associations from Moldova called for adoption of supporting measures to help companies mitigate the negative effects of the coronavirus outbreak. An online petition addressed to the Government of the Republic of Moldova was signed by thousands of citizens.

“The most powerful hit will be recorded in the case of small and medium-sized enterprises. Considering their vulnerability, the impact can be irrecoverable. Many of them will suffer major losses, some will partially or completely cease their activity, others may go bankrupt. Such areas as services, leisure, tourism, hotel, restaurants, catering, retail, event organisers and many others will be affected by quarantine and preventive measures,” the petition stated.

Government’s list of actions

On March 19, Prime Minister Ion Chicu announced a list of measures that will be taken to help business entities from Moldova during the pandemic situation. Among them are such measures as:

  • postponing income tax payments;
  • reducing VAT taxes for restaurant, hotels and catering companies;
  • introducing a moratorium for tax controls;
  • cancelling the compulsory audit of the individual financial statements for the year 2019;
  • offering the possibility of commercial banks to reschedule mortgages for individuals and provide loans under more favourable conditions;
  • increasing the Government Intervention Fund by 150 million lei, for offering bank lending guarantees to strategic economic entities, etc.

“The extraordinary situation requires extraordinary measures. The crisis will generate losses, but together we will identify solutions to reduce losses. […] At the moment, the budget incomes are at a normal level, being 14% higher than compared to the similar period of last year. We need to identify adequate policies and measures to minimise the effects of this crisis,” said Ion Chicu during the meeting with business associations, as a Government statement reported.

Source: gov.md

The National Bank of Moldova (NBM) announced that the institution will continue to use all available tools to meet the objectives of price stability and consolidation of the banking sector, which, at the moment, is declared as being well capitalised and resilient.

However, economic experts say that the pandemic could affect the labor market and that the authorities have little room to financially help the business environment, as it is the case in European countries, but it could resort to external loans.

Companies’ mitigation measures

Andrei Crigan who is an economist and business consultant, said that especially small and medium-sized enterprises (SME) are subject to lower incomes under the pandemic conditions, due to the pressure exercised by fixed costs such as rent, utilities and salaries.

According to the economist, companies must make crisis plans, analysing cost cutting, contract re-negotiations and losses minimisation opportunities. “In this period, the most important thing is the association with other entrepreneurs in order to exchange experience, observation of what others are doing to protect themselves, merging efforts and distributing the expenses together,” explained the specialist.

Also, Crigan stated that it is premature to talk about how much money the state will need in order to support the business environment.

In this regard, companies are advised to take more and more into account digital marketing activities in order to survive in such hard conditions. Offer home delivery possibilities, invest in digital promotion through social media and in situational marketing through corporate social responsibility are just some of them. Additionally, companies shall try to switch to online payment methods and active use of contactless bank cards, so as to reduce the risks of COVID-19 transmission.

Specific industries’ problems

Not all companies can switch to online environment though. Economic expert at Expert-Grup, Iurie Morcotîlo, said that companies oriented to the internal market, such as hotels, restaurants, shops, will be affected in the short term, because the main revenues come from direct contact with people.

In the long run, exports-oriented enterprises will be affected, because consumer demand among importing countries will decrease. “We must acknowledge that public finances this year will be suffering significantly, as the volume of tax collections will be lower than anticipated at the beginning of the year. The state budget will have to be revised and many initially planned expenditures will not be disbursed,” the expert claimed.

According to the economic expert, there is a reserve fund for exceptional situations, but not for business support, while the Government could resort to external credits or increasing the domestic debt, if the volume of expenses will grow.

Not all companies took the necessary preventive measures related to the COVID-19 pandemic situation. Activists are alarmed that work on some construction sites wasn’t stopped, as well as in many factories and service providing companies, whereas protecting equipment wasn’t distributed to employees.

More than 24 thousand people have signed an online petition signalling the increase in food prices and asking the authorities to take measures to protect the citizens. Meanwhile, on social networks people claim that they have observed an increase in prices for vegetables, fruits, dairy products, meat, hygiene products and disinfectants.

On the other hand, some Moldovan companies continue to help those who fight coronavirus nowadays. Businesses donate money to hospitals in the country, support educational project of developing online learning platforms, provide e-books for free, offer free psychological consultations for doctors, cosmetic producers focus all their resources to producing disinfectants.

Despite the losses they face during this period, several restaurants and food producing companies offer free food to doctors, taxi drivers bring doctors to work for free, young musicians organise live concerts online and groups of volunteers are organised to take care of their elderly neighbours by going to stores or pharmacies instead of them. Everyone who can afford it is advised to stay home.

See also: When facing hard times: Moldovans’ acts of kindness during the coronavirus outbreak

Photo: Adeolu Eletu |Unsplash

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Culture

Moldova in the last decade// top Moldovan singers who have conquered the world

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Nowadays, singers from the Republic of Moldova who perform solo or in bands went beyond the country’s borders and became popular in other countries such as Romania, Russia, Ukraine, Germany, Canada and others. This article presents a part of the most popular and successful of them.

Carla’s Dreams is a musical project from the Republic of Moldova that was launched in January 2012. The band’s name comes from Karla, a male character from the novel written by the author John le Carré. The band became known not only for their songs, but also for their style. Since the very beginning, the members of the band appeared on the stage with their faces painted, wearing hooded sweatshirts and sunglasses.

They became memorable very quickly and created an unusually pleasing addiction. Carla’s Dreams are unique in what they do: songs, lyrics, messages. They use a personalised slang, and their songs evoke realities from everyday life. Their singles hit the music charts and gathered hundreds of millions of views on YouTube.

Irina Rimes is a singer and songwriter from the Republic of Moldova who currently lives in Bucharest. The singer became popular after participating and reaching the final of a national music context in 2012.

In 2016, she re-launched her career with the song “Visele” (tr. as the dreams), which ranked 1st in the Romanian radio charts. This song was followed by other hits, which made Irina Rimes one of the most successful singers in Romania, with over 200 million views on YouTube. Irina also wrote numerous songs lyrics for other famous Romanian artists, including Inna, Alina Eremia or Antonia. In 2019, Forbes Romania included her among the most successful people under the age of 30.

The Motans is a musical band from the Republic of Moldova that was launched in 2015. The band combines several musical styles, among which the most recognised is pop. The songs written and sung by them became top hits in Romania, among which the best known is “Versus”.

Mark Stam is a singer and songwriter who became known in the Republic of Moldova after participating in a national talent show in 2013. March 2017 marked the launch of his first single, “A murit iubirea” (tr. as love died). 

In 2018, he re-launched his career in Romania with the song “Doar noi” (tr. as only us) in collaboration with Alina Eremia that ranked 1st in the Romanian radio charts. This was followed by other hits, which made Mark Stam one of the most successful singers in Romania, with over 27 million views on YouTube. In 2019, he released his song “Nesimțit” (tr. as thick-skinned), which got 3 million views on YouTube in less than 1 month.

Vanotek (Ion Chirinciuc) is a Romanian producer and DJ from the Republic of Moldova. He stepped into the music industry at the age of 17, and in a very short time began to collaborate with many famous artists. Vanotek’s songs include “My Heart is Gone”, “Take the Highway”, “În dormitor” (tr. as in the bedroom) and “Tell Me Who”. Vanotek also produced the song “Fetele din Balcani” (tr. as the girls from the Balkans), which became a hit, its video clip being today one of the most viewed Romanian videos on YouTube.

His song “My Heart is Gone” was nominated by the MTV Europe Music Awards for the category Best Romanian Act.

Olga Verbițchi, a young woman from Chisinau, became known both in Moldova and Romania, in 2016, when she won the X Factor contest in Romania. Although she didn’t think she’d be able to pass auditions before, the teenager managed to melt the hearts of millions of people who voted for Carla’s Dreams’ protégé.

After the resounding success and the “X Factor” Romania trophy, Olga Verbițchi has launched her first career single “Prietena ta” (tr. as your girlfriend), the video that has gathered over 100 thousand views in less than 24 hours.

Dan Bălan is an interpreter, composer, producer, instrumentalist, songwriter from the Republic of Moldova. He was one of the members of the well-known band O-zone, which, at the beginning of 2000, conquered the whole world with the song “Dragostea din tei”.

After the band broke up, Dan Bălan started his own solo project. In April 2010, the new single “Chica Bomb” was officially unveiled, which soon became a hit and ranks in the top 10 on charts in several European countries, including the UK, Germany, Denmark, Austria and Romania. In Russia and Greece the song reached the first position.

After such a success, Dan decided to move to the Eastern European music market. His songs reached the Russian and Ukrainian charts, and subsequently he became a judge at Voice of Ukraine.

Sasha Lopez (Sergiu Istrate) is a Romanian musician, composer, DJ and music producer originally from the Republic of Moldova.  He started learning music since childhood, and at the age of 17 he became a professional DJ.

In 2006, he started the Studio One project, together with DJ Nash. Studio One managed to be very successful in a short time, crossing the Romanian borders. The single “Everytime” quickly entered the international music charts and was included on the famous compilation Ministry of Sound in 2008. Sergiu’s second single – “All My People”, became the most popular Romanian song at the end of 2011, according to Mediaforest Romania. Afterwards, it reached number 1 in over 20 countries in Europe, Canada, Latin America and Asia.

By the end of 2013, Sasha Lopez managed to gather over 200 million views on YouTube, two golden records: in Canada and Japan; and over half a million copies of digital singles sold with the song “All My People”. In 2012, the Rio Carnival was opened on this song.

SunStroke Project is a musical band from the Republic of Moldova that participated at the Eurovision Song Contest in 2017. The band managed to rank third, after Portugal and Bulgaria. They made themselves memorable with the performance of the band’s saxophonist (Sergei Stepanov) who produced a phenomenon on the internet, called “Epic Sax Guy“.

Videos remixed with the band’s performance accumulated millions of views on YouTube.

This text is a translation. The original article here.

Photo: Pixabay

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Culture

International language dispute: Moldovans are warned to stop calling the Romanian language “Moldovan”

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President Igor Dodon and his declarations about the “Moldovan” language have caught again the international media’s attention. Euronews has published an article stating that Moldova has been warned to stop calling the Romanian language “Moldovan”.

The Romanian Academy, a government-backed cultural institute, has made an official declaration saying that the “Moldovan language” invoked by certain politicians from Moldova is, in fact, a dialect of the Romanian language“To promote the idea of a “Moldovan” language, distinct from the Romanian one, is not only a distortion of a cultural reality and identity documented in all linguistic, historical and literary syntheses, but also an ideological manipulation, which the international community will never accept,” is mentioned in the statement.

The statement was issued after President Igor Dodon, spoke in favour of the “Moldovan” language during a speech at the Council of Europe in Strasbourg, while the relations between the Governments of Romania and Moldova have been strained, as it is mentioned in the Euronews article.

In his speech on 29 January, Dodon said Moldova was committed to establishing a united Europe “from Lisbon to Vladivostok,” (a city in the far east of Russia).

The political scientist and researcher Dionis Cenușă explained the root cause of the existing problem for the international media outlet: “The linguistic issue has its roots from the Soviet times, when the Soviets created an artificial Moldovan identity different from the Romanian one,” he said.

“The use of the Romanian versus Moldovan language rhetoric has been damaging to the public discourse in both Bucharest and Chișinău, triggering and fuelling political conflicts on a matter will eventually prove to be detrimental to the people’s interests,” declared Radu Magdin, a political analyst.

“Although Moldova is a separate state, there is no question that the language spoken by the majority of Moldovans is Romanian.”

In 2013, the Constitutional Court of Moldova delivered a decision according to which, the Romanian and “Moldovan” languages were declared identical. However, the Article 13 of the Constitution of the Republic of Moldova still states that the official language in Moldova is “Moldovan”, that being a usual matter of political and social disputes in the country.

According to the data provided by the National Bureau of Statistics, 53% of the total population of the Republic of Moldova declared “Moldovan” as their first language, whereas only 23,3% said Romanian was their native language at the 2014 national census. When it comes to the ethnical structure of the population, 75,1% declared themselves Moldovans and 7% Romanians.

“The Romanian Academy expressly requests the authorities of the Republic of Moldova to keep in the official use the correct and consecrated notions  of “Romanian language” and “Romanian history”, as the only ones valid for naming the present realities.” (The Romanian Academy)

More details about the historical context of the “Moldovan” language term here.

Photo: Radio Iasi

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