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Moldova’s mass migration – the main trigger for the economic and demographic decline

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People leave Moldova every day. Nowadays, not only young people leave the country, but elder ones do it as well. It is also the case for Serafima Gherman – a former biology and chemistry teacher, who decided to leave her home country and to head for Milano, Italy.

Our colleagues from Moldova.org spent the day before she left at her place while she was preparing her luggage for leaving. She seems to be down in the mouth. So many years spent in this house…

When Serafima was young she dreamed to become an artist. She secretly applied at the musical college. Her voice was wonderful. When her father, who was a doctor, got to know, he gave her a good beating and told her that the big stages would handle it somehow without her. So, she studied at a technical college and graduated the Pedagogical University from Tiraspol being married with 2 children.  Together with her husband, she built a big house and raised the children. A few years ago her husband passed away. It seems like it was only yesterday.

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Serafima Gherman in her house

Sitting on the floor, she tried to put her thoughts in order and to arrange her belongings in the luggage. First, she was wondering if the pieces of frozen meat, packages of parsley, lovage and traditional cheese made from sheep milk will fit into the blue valise next to her. She was aware that the place she goes to is full of cheese and meat of any kind, but she also knew that the home-made food can’t be compared to anything. And then, she didn’t know how much time it will take until returning home. What if the meat rots?

The next thing Serafima took care for were her clothes, carefully arranged in a plastic bag, as well as her medicines. Still, it was too much stuff. Her grandson assured her that all the things that don’t fit in the valise will be brought by his mom, Serafima’s daughter, next time when she comes to Moldova. She also lives and works in Italy.

Serafima looked around one more time. She checked the papers and the medicines to not forget anything, and started to slowly move to the kitchen. She was crying. “It is very hard, living my entire life in one place and taking to the road now, when I am old. Who will take care of my house while I am gone?” she asked herself. Everything is left behind: a small house with a kitchen, a bathroom, a bedroom and the most important, a sparkly clean living room called in Romanian “casa mare”. Nobody lives in there. It’s for guests.

She sadly inspected the yard that has the softest and the greenest grass ever. Once it was full of hungry poultry: geese, ducks, chickens. Now it is so silent. All of them were slaughtered one after another as there was nobody who could take care of them while she was visiting her daughter in Italy.

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Serafima with her daughter, Angela

She never thought of being always on the road. Her heart was always weak and then the problems with blood pressure appeared. So, she had to travel a lot: from the local hospital in Brânzenii Vechi to the district hospital in Telenești, and then to Chișinău. Nobody knew what the health issue was. Only when her daughter Angela bought her a ticket to Italy, the physicians discovered the small intestine cancer. After long beggings from her daughter, Serafima accepted to be operated. In Italy, she got her residence permit and the papers for obtaining the 100% degree of disability, as she was hardly able to move and was in poor health. Now she must go to the doctor regularly. “I have to leave for a new consult. It happens every couple of months. I can’t be taken care of in my own country.”

It has been going on for several years now. And she cries every time. Her house fell into disrepair while it is so comfortable and nice in Italy, but so foreign. It’s like there is no life for her in that world.

She was wearing her favourite floral pink dress and a wool cardigan, as it was already quite cold. Leaning on her walking stick, Serafima slowly walked to the gateway, where a car was already waiting for her to take her to the airport in Chișinău. All she could do more was to ask her neighbour to come and check the house from time to time. Nobody knew when she would return, maybe after a couple of months, maybe in summer. Her grandson Liviu helped her with the luggage and nodded affirmatively while receiving indications from his grandma: “Buy some poison against mice and spread it in the corners and under the bed. Move that gas tank in the garage. I don’t want it to be stolen!”

They arrived at the airport and headed directly to the check-in desk. The luggage was already given, the check-in done, and a wheel chair was waiting for Serafima. Tears filled her eyes again. She hugged her beloved grandson and let herself to be guided to the departure gate. There were some other old people that were waiting to be boarded. Most probably they also flown to visit their children.

Republic of Moldova loses her citizens in a matter of hours. Namely, every hour four people leave the country seeking for a better life, according to BBC. In 2017 only, the number of persons over 15 years old that were established abroad for work purposes reached 318.4 thousand, out of which 20.2 thousand are persons aged over 55, as the official data by the National Statistical Office of Moldova states. In case the trend continues, it could lead to a demographic and economic collapse.

Featured image source: lufthansa.com

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Federica Mogherini: We will keep a close eye on the formation of the Moldovan government and its future programme.

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One of the topics discussed at the Meeting of the EU Foreign Affairs Council held on March 18th, 2019, was the current political situation in the Republic of Moldova following the parliamentary elections of February 24th.

Foreign ministers highlighted the importance of a transparent and credible government formation process that should reflect a genuine parliamentary majority that respects the outcome of the elections, as it is mentioned in the outcome document of the council meeting. They stressed the importance of non-interference in the formation process and the fact that the EU does not support individual parties and specific political actors, but values and principles.

At the same time, the Council reiterated that the basis for EU cooperation with Moldova is the implementation of the Association Agreement and confirmed the importance of the principle of conditionality in delivering macro-financial assistance to Moldova, which had to be withheld following serious deterioration in the areas of rule of law and the upholding of democratic principles. On the other hand, foreign ministers highlighted the critical importance of offering support to Moldovan citizens and to civil society.

At the press conference following the Foreign Affairs Council meeting, the High Representative of the EU for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Federica Mogherini, presented the remarks regarding the previously discussed topics.

“We assessed with the Foreign Ministers the state of play, with full respect of the politics of the country and still with the willingness to support the reform agenda in the country and the rule of law and the democratic perspectives there. We have expressed some concerns and, obviously, agreed that we will keep a close eye on the formation of the government and the programme that the government will put in place,” claimed Mogherini.

Additionally, the High Representative declared that the Council won’t enter into the discussions about coalitions and formation of the government. However, it is crucial “to stay vigilant on the rule of law situation and most of all the implementation of the [EU-Moldova] Association Agreement agenda with Moldova that is a key partner in the Eastern Partnership.”

According to the preliminary conclusions of the OSCE/ODIHR Election Observation Mission stated in the Background Brief document of Foreign Affairs Council, the elections were “competitive and fundamental rights were generally respected.” However, shortcomings were noted throughout the campaign and on the election day, including “allegations of pressure on public employees, strong indications of vote buying and the misuse of state resources.” The Mission also noted that “control and ownership of the media by political actors limited the range of viewpoints presented to voters.”

Photo: eeas.europa.eu

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The CEC confirmed the results of the parliamentary elections in the Republic of Moldova

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The Central Electoral Commission (CEC) summarized the results of the parliamentary elections held on February 24th, 2019 in the national constituency and in the single-seat constituencies. The results were announced during a press conference on March 3rd.

According to the CEC data, the parliamentary mandates are distributed as following:

  • the Party of Socialists of the Republic of Moldova – 35 mandates;
  • the Democratic Party of Moldova  – 30 mandates;
  • the electoral bloc ACUM formed of the Party of Action and Solidarity and the Dignity and Truth Platform Party – 26 mandates;
  • the “Șor” Party – 7 mandates;
  • independent candidates – 3 mandates.

According to the Electoral Code, a report of the summarized results, announced during the CEC meeting, must be submitted to the Constitutional Court for the validation of the poll within 24 hours.

Within five days after receiving the CEC documents, the magistrates of the Constitutional Court must confirm or deny the legality of the elections and validate the mandates of the new members of the Parliament.

The CEC specified that a total of 1 457 220 voters participated in the national constituency elections, out of which 76 583 persons voted in the polling stations opened abroad, and 37 257 persons – in the polling stations from Transnistria.

In the single-seat constituencies, 1 441 326 voters participated in the parliamentary elections, out of which 76 642 persons exercised their right to vote in the polling stations opened abroad and 36 696 persons – in the polling stations from Transnistria.

Photo: cec.md

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Tiraspol’s separatist leader, Krasnoselski, commemorates 27 years since “Moldova’s aggression against Transnistria”

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Today, Tiraspol’s separatist leader, Vadim Krasnoselski, commemorates “27 years since the beginning of Moldova’s massive aggression on Transnistria,” the NovostiPMR agency communicates.

“Moldovan combatants intended to eliminate Transnistrian statehood with tanks and planes, operating terrorist groups,” according to Krasnoselski.

Really? Let’s see what the other side has to say.

“11% of the territory of the Republic of Moldova is under the occupation of the Russian Federation”

Security expert Rosian Vasiloi notes that the place of Krasnoselskii, Smirnov, Ignatiev, and other leading people is in jail for the crimes committed during these 28 years of independence. According to the expert, these are the fruits of political need promoted to all governments.

“So Krasnoselski running freely on the right bank of Nistru and using the Chisinau airport to fly to his masters in Moscow, isn’t counted as “massive aggression of Moldova against Transnistria”?

When receiving money from the Moldovan Government for electricity so that the people of Transnistria survive, while part of this money is being stolen and shifting to obscure circles in Chisinau, isn’t “massive aggression of Moldova against Transnistria”?

Today I saw state dignitaries, ministers, officials, smiling with flowers in hand to monuments. It seems that ruling a country feels like playing. For me, the war is not over yet. It will end when the left bank of the Nistru will be fully integrated with the right bank. This is possible, but not with those who go on monuments on March 2, smiling.”

One of the most complicated conflicts in the post-soviet space

In a comment made in 2017 by the Doctor of History, Institute of History of the ASM, Octavian Ticu, it is mentioned that the Transnistrian crisis was artificially created by Moscow at the beginning of 1990 against the backdrop of the systemic crisis in the USSR and the intensification of the national movements in the Soviet republics. Faced with the likelihood of the Soviet Union leaving the USSR, Anatoly Lukianov, president of the USSR Supreme Soviet, with Dmitry Iazov’s involvement, and Boris Pugo, Minister of Defense and Interior Affairs, decided to create two states on the territory of Moldova: the left bank and another in Gagauzia. At the same time, the Soviet official has created a link between the issue of local separatism in Moldova and the commitment of MSSR to sign the new Soviet treaty initiated by Mikhail Gorbachev in hopes of saving the Soviet Union.

The first effective support from Moscow for the Transnistrians came in September 1990 when troops of the Soviet Interior Ministry were detached to defend the “Congress” of the Russian-speaking elites who had declared the independence of the “Transnistrian Republic” to Moldova within the Soviet Union. The intervention of the troops had the general role of conflict management – in this case, to discourage a possible attempt by Chisinau to forcefully force the force, as it threatened. But there was also a second goal: to exert pressure on Moldova to either abandon the aspirations of independence or to be dismembered.

The 14th Army troops, comprising many people born in the Transnistrian region, have also been encouraged by the openness to Tiraspol by the Ministry of Defense. Thus, when in November 1990, not far from Dubasari, the first Moldovan-Transnistrian army confrontation erupted, the Transnistrian Russian language speakers had on their side not only armed volunteer formations but also the expectation of supporting the Soviet troops.

The conflict between the new authorities in Chisinau and the “MRI” erupted at the end of the spring-summer of 1992, leading to the loss of several hundred lives. The conflict would soon be eclipsed by other events in the world, disappearing from headlines. It still remains one of the most complicated conflicts in post-Soviet space, both in terms of its prehistory and in terms of its political implications and possible developments. Although the July 7, 1992, was concluded a ceasefire, a solution to the disputes underlying the conflict was not yet found – legal and territorial status of the left bank of the Moldovan state.

The full comment can be read here.
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