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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

Important

This is Igor Dodon’s reply after Constitutional Court’s decision that the president can not submit a candidate for the post of PM

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President Igor Dodon believes that the election of the Parliament leadership is the only way to overcome the political crisis in the country.

The statement was made for the Russian news agency TASS after the Constitutional Court’s decision that the President of the Republic of Moldova can not submit a candidate to the post of PM in the absence of Parliament’s governing bodies.

“I have mentioned that if until mid-June the governing bodies of the legislature will not be established, I will have to sign the decree of dissolving the Parliament and appointing the date of organizing early parliamentary elections,” warns President Dodon on his Facebook page.

The president stressed that this scenario “is not good” for Moldova, given the risks of stopping investment projects in infrastructure, the emergence of risks in the budgetary system, postponing the creation of the Government and conducting local elections.

We recall that according to the decision of the CC, the impossibility of meeting the Parliament because of the lack of the organ convening it implies the impossibility of the President of the Republic of Moldova to appoint a candidate for the post of PM.

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Economy

Moldova will receive a $70,000,000 loan from the World Bank

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The aim of the money is to increase electricity distribution capacity. According to a communiqué to the international institution mentioned above, the decision to grant the loan was approved yesterday by the World Bank Board of Directors.

A new high-voltage 400 kV line will be built from the WB money between Vulcanesti, in the south of Moldova and Chisinau. Also, the modernization and extension of substations in Chisinau and Vulcanesti are envisaged, as well as strengthening the energy transmission and metering system.

“The project will strengthen the capacity and reliability of local energy distribution in Moldova and will support the future interconnection of Moldova’s electricity system to the European electricity grid through Romania. This will be vital for the diversification of Moldova’s electricity supply, which will allow electricity to be supplied at competitive and transparent prices,” says the communiqué.

Over the last 27 years, the World Bank has granted the Republic of Moldova loans totaling over $1,000,000,000 for about 60 projects.

Currently, the World Bank portfolio includes ten active projects with a total commitment of $391.300,000. The areas of support include regulatory reform and business development, education, eGovernment, healthcare, agriculture, local roads, the environment, and others.

The commitment portfolio of the International Financial Corporation in Moldova includes five projects amounting to $17,000,000 (69% loans and 31% equity). The Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency provided $95,000,000. Both institutions are members of the World Bank Group.

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Important

This is how Prime Minister Filip helped the Ribnita Metallurgical Plant escape Ukraine’s sanctions // RISE Moldova

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Moldovan Prime Minister Pavel Filip helped one of the budget-forming enterprises of self-proclaimed Transnistria, MMZ (Ribnita Metallurgical Plant), to come out from under the sanctions of Ukraine.

A copy of the letter came to the disposal of the editorial offices of RISE Moldova and the Radio Svoboda, in which the head of the Moldovan government demanded from the Ukrainian leadership not only the lifting of the embargo but also the termination of the investigation regarding the plant.

Even during the duration of the sanctions, Ukrainian exporters of scrap, with the help of Chisinau intermediaries, managed to bypass the embargo on supplies for MMZ for about a year. Read more on the case here.

Photo: Moldovan Prime Minister Pavel Filip and President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko reached mutual compromise // Photo: press service of the President of Ukraine

Moldova, PM Filip requested the reduction, twice, of export taxes applied to this undertaking, arguing that they would be an administrative barrier.

In addition, he requested the cessation of the anti-dumping investigation against the plant as unfounded and the suspension of the individual licensing regime until the final court decision.

Just 10 days after PM Filip’s letter was sent, the Kiev authorities excluded the Metallurgical Plant from the list of entities subject to sanctions.

Instead, they included a company in Chisinau (Novastal Prim SRL) on the list, which has last year interfered with the import of scrap metal from Ukraine to the Metallurgical Plant, thereby circumventing the sanction regime imposed by Kiev.

Asked if he had signed such a letter, Pavel Filip ran away from the press.

“We’ll talk some other time,” he said briefly.

The Scheme with the Ribnita Metallurgical Plant (MMZ) and Pavel Filip’s blending in with its sanctions shows how well the international oligarchic regional (Gusan-Poroshenko-Plahotniuc) operates across national borders.

Let’s sum it all up:

The case with the MMZ is similar to other past practices of schemes such as controlling Transnistrian electricity exports to Moldova (and dividing the profits between the three oligarchs).

In 2018, Poroshenko puts MMZ under sanctions, clearly only four years away from Euromaidan and a few years of war in eastern Ukraine. His Moldovan partner, oligarch Vlad Plahotniuc, creates a local tick (Novastal Prim SRL) that “legally” takes over the Ukrainian waste metal streams to Transnistria and through which the three oligarchs share the profit.

In the coming March 2019, Poroshenko realizes he could lose the elections and bring the business back to the legal field, which means that he would have to exclude Novastal Prim SRL from the scheme.

Poroshenko has, in fact, come out clean. He was self-indicted by the Moldovan Prime Minister, the one making the request.

President of Ukraine and Prime Minister of Moldova at the opening of a joint checkpoint at the Transnistrian segment of the Moldovan-Ukrainian border // Photo: Press Service of the Government of Moldova

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