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Two different ways of celebrating May 9: Victory Day vs Europe Day in the time of COVID-19

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Victory Day or Europe Day – one more reason of discord for Moldovan politicians and, as a consequence, for the Moldovan society, even during the pandemic crisis Moldova faces these days.

This year, the socialist government and a part of politicians who still miss the Soviet times insisted on commemorating the surrender of Nazi Germany in 1945, while opposition politicians together with the EU countries’ embassy representatives sent messages of celebrating peace and unity in Europe. In the context of the coronavirus pandemic, their methods of celebration were also very different.

Europe Day was marked merely online, as Head of the Delegation of the EU to the Republic of Moldova, Peter Michalko, congratulated the citizens of the country, along with the ambassadors of Poland, Austria, Romania, Sweden, Germany, Latvia, Italy, the Netherlands and Spain.

Mesajul ambasadorului Michalko cu ocazia zilei Europei!

Dragi prieteni, Vă felicit cu ocazia zilei Europei! Astăzi este prilejul de a sărbători pacea și unitatea în Europa. De asemenea este o zi să ne amintim de valorile și obiectivele noastre comune, care ne fac mai Puternici Împreună. Anul acesta, din cauza pandemiei, nu putem fi împreună în spații publice pentru a sărbători această zi importantă, dar vreau ca mesajul de solidaritate din partea mea și a colegilor mei, Ambasadorii țărilor membre ale UE să ajungă la toți.#ZiuaEuropei #ÎmpreunăMaiPuternici #SolidariPentruSanatate #70AniDeclarația Schuman***Дорогие друзья, поздравляю вас с Днем Европы! Сегодня мы отмечаем день мира и единства в Европе. Этот день также напоминает нам о наших общих ценностях и целях, которые нас объединяют и делают нас сильнее. В этом году, по причине пандемии, мы не сможем собраться в общественных местах, чтобы отметить этот важный день, но я призвать каждого из вас к солидарности, от себя лично и от своих коллег, представителей государств-членов ЕС.#ДеньЕвропы #ВместеМыСильнее #СолидарныРадиЗдоровья #70ЛетДекларацииШумана

Geplaatst door European Union in the Republic of Moldova op Zaterdag 9 mei 2020

A message of gratitude for the support provided by the EU partners was also published by the Party of Action and Solidarity on social media.

Ziua Europei

Un prieten bun este acela care te apreciază atunci când faci lucrurile bine!Un prieten bun este acela care te critică atunci când greșești și te încurajează să perseverezi!Un prieten bun este acela care vine în ajutor atunci când ai nevoie!De trei decenii, Uniunea Europeană este alături de Republica Moldova şi la bine şi la greu. Peste 2 miliarde de euro au fost alocați pentru proiecte de aprovizionare cu apă potabilă, eficiență energetică, reparația drumurilor, susținerea micului business și suport pentru realizarea reformelor.Uniunea Europeană este mai mult decât o uniune economică și politică. Este un proiect care a pus capăt războaielor pe continent şi a oferit un nou model de colaborare între popoare. Pentru mulți dintre noi a devenit a doua casă.Astăzi, UE este alături de noi într-un alt război, într-o lupta cu un dușman invizibil. Este alături prin donații de echipamente și asistență financiară. Putem învinge acest dușman doar prin solidaritate, generozitate și având alături prietenii adevărați! Să-i ținem aproape și să le mulțumim de câte ori avem ocazia!Vă mulțumim că sunteți alături de noi!Mulțumim, Europa![Surse video: Delegația UE în Moldova, Privesc.eu, Unimedia, Mold-Street, TV8, Sky News, Euronews, AFP, Associated Press, War Archives]

Geplaatst door Partidul Acțiune și Solidaritate op Zaterdag 9 mei 2020

In addition, an online concert of the Moldovan National Youth Orchestra and La La Play Voices, with the participation of 200 artists from Moldova and the European Union, as well as a series of movies broadcasts on several online platforms and TV channels were transmitted, as per the Delegation of the EU to Moldova program.

As all events were held online, the Delegation of the EU to Moldova will donate the money budgeted for the reception dedicated to Europe Day to the emergency service medical staff.  “Dear friends, this year we cannot be together at the traditional reception, organized on the occasion of Europe Day, because we respect the restrictions during the pandemic. That is why, we decided to donate the financial resources planned for this reception to those who are on the front line in the fight against COVID-19,” said Peter Michalko. According to him, the money will be used to deliver lunches to the medical staff of the National Emergency Services throughout the country.

On Victory Day, President Igor Dodon, Prime Minister Ion Chicu and Parliament Speaker Zinaida Greceanii went to the “Eternity” Memorial Complex, where they laid flowers in memory of soldiers who died in World War II. All in all, around 50 soldiers, politicians and state dignitaries attended the ceremony.

Source: Facebook| Igor Dodon

At the same time, Igor Dodon announced, on his Facebook page, his paid visits to war veterans and the participation in the burial ceremony of the remains of 45 soldiers of the Red Army.

Source: Facebook| Igor Dodon

Victory Day has been still traditionally celebrated, even though ceremonies with fewer attending people took place. “More than 500 cars and dozens of motorcycles took part, today, in the auto marathon in honour of the 75th anniversary of the Great Victory,” Dodon also announced on social media.

Более 500 автомобилей и десятки мотоциклов приняли участие сегодня в автопробеге в честь 75-летия Победы в Великой Отечественной войне. Колонну, двигавшуюся по улицам столицы, приветствовали прохожие, которые 9 мая празднуют День Победы и чтут память десятков миллионов людей, погибших в той страшной войне.:::::::Peste 500 de automobile și zeci de motociclete au participat, astăzi, la marșul auto în cinstea celor 75 de ani de la Marea Victorie în Războiul pentru Apărarea Patriei. Coloana, care s-a deplasat pe străzile Capitalei, a fost salutată de trecătorii care pe 9 mai sărbătoresc Ziua Victoriei și cinstesc memoria zecilor de milioane de oameni care și-au pierdut viata în acel cumplit război.

Geplaatst door Dodon Igor op Zaterdag 9 mei 2020

Some opposition MPs were outraged by the car marathon organised in the capital city. “How can the president  organise parades in the centre of Chisinau and, at the same time, keep the citizens at home? Tens of thousands of businesses were shut down during the period when 10 cases of COVID-19 per day used to be confirmed, while during the period when there are over 120 people infected per day, parades are organised. Citizens cannot attend the funeral of their relatives and still, the president’s friends parades of  hundreds of people are held. […] How can you organise a May 9 parade while people die due to the officials’ irresponsibility? We have the most reckless government “ the MP Petru Frunze wrote on social media.

Politics

Critical changes blocked in Moldovan politics – the Constitutional Court dictated the separation of powers

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On July 7, the Constitutional Court (CC) of the Republic of Moldova issued a decision, according to which, the dissolution of the Parliament in the last six months of the presidential term of office is prohibited under any circumstances, even though the president resigns during this period. Moreover, according to the same decision, holding parliamentary elections and presidential elections during the same period is prohibited. Simultaneous local elections are permitted though.

The CC took this decision after 2 members of the Parliament (MPs) submitted 2 notifications in this regard. The institution explained its decision by the fact that the separation of powers is needed, that meaning the temporal separation of the presidential and the parliamentary election campaigns.

“We are on the verge of social revolts due to the deepening poverty, as well as the injustice in the country. The Constitutional Court issued a decision that leaves no room for interpretation. From now on, a Government capable of relaunching the economy and ensuring the safety of the people of Moldova must be formed,” claimed Andrian Candu, the member of Pro Moldova (a political party formed after the separation of democrats).

The vice-president of the Dignity and Truth Platform Party, Alexandr Slusari, declared that the CC decision was predictable. “It was clear for us from the the very beginning that simultaneous parliamentary and presidential elections is a wrong and strictly political path. […] If several MPs had acted in unison, without making use of a hidden agenda, the Chicu government would have long gone down in history,” he said.

Socialists consider the current Parliament as being compromised, as it ‘sunk’ into many corruption scandals and the opposition boycotted legislature’s plenary sessions for several times already. “We addressed the CC to make this clarification. We would have liked to save the citizens’ money and to hold the snap parliamentary elections on the same day as the presidential elections, on November 1,” is mentioned in a press release published on the page of the Party of Socialists of the Republic of Moldova.

“In this context, we support the idea of President Igor Dodon that, the first decree signed by the head of state after the autumn presidential elections must be about the dissolution of the current compromised Parliament and holding snap parliamentary elections,” is also declared in the press release.

The socialists’ dissatisfaction is especially reasoned by 3 failed attempts of the Parliament to meet in plenary session, during which the bills for which Chicu’s Government took responsibility before the Parliament were supposed to be communicated. Opposition MPs urged the Government to withdraw its bills from Parliament and register them for parliamentary scrutiny.

Photo: Facebook| The Parliament of the Republic of Moldova

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Reintegration

Protecting public health or violating freedom of movement? Protests in Transnistria

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On July 02, a protest has been registered in Ribnita (a city in the Transnistrian region). Dozens of city residents who work in Rezina (Moldova), blocked the bridge across the Dniester that connects the two localities. People complained they are not allowed to go to work because the Tiraspol authorities cancelled their permits to cross the bridge.

More than 70 people demanded free access to Moldova, as well as respecting their right to free movement. They also requested the cancellation of the obligation to stay in quarantine for 14 days upon return from Moldova.

On June 29, a decision of Transnistrian authorities has been made, stating that the residents of the Transnistrian region are allowed to enter and leave the region without being quarantined upon return, in case they go to Moldova for maximum 12 hours.

Moreover, citizens from Transnistria, employed by companies on the right bank of the Dniester, were granted a temporary permit issued by the Tiraspol authorities in order to travel freely to their workplace and back. Once the permits were cancelled, these people were left without the possibility to go to work.

The Tiraspol authorities claimed that the permits were cancelled because at least 10 employees of factories in Rezina, who are residents of Ribnita, were infected with COVID-19. Therefore, avoiding a second wave of infections among the inhabitants of the Transnistrian region is aimed, according tot the the so-called Minister of Internal Affairs, Ruslan Mova.

Mova warned that people who organised the protest could be held accountable. He claimed people from Transnistria still have a choice, as they can enter the Republic of Moldova and stay there during the coronavirus pandemic or they can be quarantined when returning to Transnistria.

“The abusive actions of Transnistrian structures are described as an act of defiance of the basic acts of the peacekeeping operation and a total disregard for the decisions approved at Unified Control Commission,” is mentioned in a press release of the the Bureau for Reintegration Policies from Moldova. The Transnistrian manner of distorting the truth, misinforming the Commission and trying to manipulate public opinion was condemned by the Moldovan delegation, highlighting that the reduction in the Commission’s authority is a consequence of Tiraspol’s actions, as it also mentioned in the press release.

Source: Alexandr Podgoretchi

On the other hand, the OSCE Mission to Moldova expressed its deep concern about the unexpected cancellation by the Transnistrian side of permits for the residents of the region, is mentioned in an OSCE statement cited by INFOTAG News Agency

Head of the OSCE Mission to Moldova, Claus Neukirch, urged the region’s authorities not to create artificial obstacles to the free movement of residents. “Although health measures are needed to prevent the spread of COVID-19, there must be a functioning mechanism to allow people to travel to their jobs, access healthcare services and other urgent needs even during the pandemic,” Neukirch said.

The OSCE Mission to Moldova also urged the Transnistrian administration to dismantle all border checkpoints installed in the last five months.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Tiraspol unilaterally installed 37 illegal checkpoints in the Security Zone. Such actions impeded the free movement of about 50 thousand inhabitants from 11 localities and tensioned the relations between Transnistria and the Republic of Moldova, according to a statement of the Government.

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Society

COVID-19 statistics: Moldova’s harmful figures that still can break the European records

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In June, the COVID-19 pandemic advanced rapidly in the Republic of Moldova. The number of contaminated persons increased by 92% as compared to May, while the growth was only 23% from April to May, according to a note of the ADEPT association. The same source stated that an increase by 70% in the number of deaths was recorded in June as compared to May.

With the lifting of the state of emergency in Moldova, the National Extraordinary Public Health Commission cancelled several restrictions contrary to the warnings of public health specialists regarding such premature measures: relaunch of dental and hairdressing services, resumption of international rail and road transport of people, markets re-opening and resumption of museums and libraries’ activity. The Commission also approved religious ceremonies in closed spaces, opening shopping malls and outdoor training for performance athletes, as well as regular flights and passenger charters.

See also: Lifting coronavirus restrictions in Moldova – risks and future costs

As a result, a record number of daily cases and deaths caused by the coronavirus was recorded in June. At the end of the state of emergency (May 15) the total balance of confirmed cases had reached 5 745, with a steady ascending trend. The trend  continued in the following weeks, reaching over 2 000 confirmed positive cases per week.

Source: statista.com

According to the Ministry of Health, Labour and Social Protection (MHLSP) data, the peak of the daily cases recorded in Moldova was reached on June 17 – 478 new cases. To date, the total number of confirmed cases is 17 150 and the total number of deaths – 560. The Republic of Moldova ranks the 12th in the list of the European countries with the highest incidence of coronavirus cases – 410.88 cases per 100 000 population.

Another record number that has a huge negative impact on the way the coronavirus pandemic is managed in the country is the rate of the infected medical staff out of the total confirmed cases. Until, July 2, 2 429 cases of infection (13.11% of total cases) have been confirmed among medical staff, including 613 doctors, 28 pharmacists, 974 nurses, 125 janitors, 698 auxiliary personnel, as the MHLSP reported. The number of medical workers infected with COVID-19 has almost the same increase rate as the total number of infections, mentioned the ADEPT association.

The positive test rate is another figure that recorded one of the most significant growths as compared to other European countries. The total positive tests rate recorded since the beginning of testing (in February) is 20.8%, with the highest monthly rate of 24.1% in June. The maximum number of tests performed in one day was 1 659 on June 17. All in all, 82 635 people were tested for the first time and 20 404 were tested repeatedly in Moldova.

The MHLSP warned that the coronavirus also massively affects children. The authorities specified that a total of 824 minors were infected in the Republic of Moldova.

The positive news is that the number of registered active cases decreased during the last days of June. The same tendency was observed as regarding the medical staff. At the same time, the number of recoveries increased during the same period.

Source: statista.com

Photo: Wikimedia

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