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Democracy and governing in Moldova
e-journal, year IV, issue 85, 16 November - 1 December 2006
Activity of Public Institutions
Studies, Analyses, Comments
Activity of Public Institutions
1.1. Appointments. Immunities
The legislature has given green light to a proposal by the Superior Council of Magistracy regarding reshuffles in administration of the Supreme Court of Justice (SCJ):
- Ion Muruianu was appointed deputy chairman of SCJ, chairman of the economic college (Natalia Moldovanu was relieved from this post);
- Raisa Botezatu was appointed deputy chairwoman of SCJ, chairwoman of the criminal college (instead of judge Constantin Gurschii).
The Parliament has operated a series of reshuffles in permanent commissions:
- Grigore Petrenco was elected chairman of the commission for foreign policy and European integration;
- Vladimir Ciobanu was appointed chairman of the commission for public administration, ecology and territorial development at the initiative of the Communist faction (instead of Veaceslav Untila, who was revoked at the proposal of the major faction);
- Valentina Serpul was elected deputy chairwoman of the commission for social protection, health and family (instead of Valentina Golban, who was revoked at the proposal of the major faction);
- Vasile Pintea was elected deputy chairman of the commission for economy, budget and finances (instead of Iurie Bolboceanu, who tendered resignation);
- Vitalia Pavlicenco was revoked from the post of deputy chairwoman of the commission for foreign policy and European integration (at the proposal of the Our Moldova Alliance (AMN) faction);
- Vasile Colta was revoked from post of secretary of the commission for agriculture and food industry (at the initiative of AMN faction).
The number of lawmakers in the commission for foreign policy and European integration was increased from 11 up to 13 deputies, while the number of parliamentarians in the commission for social protection, health and family was reduced from 11 down to 9 members.
The Parliament has examined a request by prosecutor-general and decided to withdraw immunity from Deputy Vasile Colta, who joined the parliament as an AMN member and was excluded from this faction later. Most lawmakers decided after a secret voting that there are enough reasons to punish Deputy Colta under Penal Code on cigarette smuggling charges and under Code of Contraventions for hurting some persons.
1.2. Legislative acts
- State budget law for 2007. The law was modified in the third reading to redirect some sources and reduce the reserve fund of the executive. Lawmakers have unveiled about 600 amendments, but the Parliament has turned down most of them due to the lack of funds. The general amount of expenditure and incomes was not modified: revenues will count for 12.088 billion lei, expenditure will amount to 12.161 billion lei and the budgetary deficit is expected to account for roughly 73 million lei.
- Law on organisation and conduct of tourism activity in Moldova. It regulates legal relations linked to drafting and promotion of state policy on tourism, organisation and coordination of tourism activity, entrepreneurial activity in the field of tourism, forms of tourism, creation and activity of national tourism zones. It introduces the notion of national tourism zone, a part of Moldova enjoying a special regime, which includes one or more national tourism facility, created to protect and use tourism resources efficiently and to develop the tourism infrastructure.
- Law on modification of Article 24 of the Law on Government. This law divided the Ministry of Health and Social Protection into the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Social Protection, Family and Child. This change came because the previous decision on merger of these ministries was not prepared enough and results of activity of the ministry in certain fields of competence (social protection of family, children) have not been very efficient. The decision to amalgamate the ministries was made in 2005 in response to a message and proposals of chief of state, in a move to reform the central public administration.
- Law on completion of the Penal Code of Moldova. The code is completed with two new articles: Article 2451 (Abuses in activity of participants in securities market) and Article 2452 (Violation of legislation on writing down in the register of securities holders). Sanctions consist of fines of up to 300 conventional units (6,000 lei) and jail terms of 7 years.
- Law on modification and completion of the state budget law for 2006. The law has allocated 93.1 million lei from the state budget to the State Administration of Civil Aviation to complete the statutory capital of the State Air Company Air Moldova. The parliamentary opposition and competent experts have contested this proposal, describing the Government's actions as unreasonable, economically inefficient and contrary to principles of market economy.
- Decision approving the 2007 budget of the National Commission for Securities (CNVM). The budget of CNVM comprised incomes in the amount of 8,830,000 lei, including existing 3 million lei. Also, it approved taxes and fees paid to CNVM, conditions of pay for CNVM members and employees.
- Draft law on processing of personal data. The document aims to guarantee respect and ensure protection of rights of individuals to private life, in connection with processing of personal data. The action of the law will cover the processing of personal data by any individuals or legal entities, except for personal data, by individuals for their personal usage only, if these data must not be disclosed. The norms of the law will not be applied for processing and transfer of personal data within activities in the field of national defence, national security and combat of crime.
- Draft law on public debt, state guarantees and state re-crediting. The draft aims to contract, disburse, reimburse, register and administrate the state debt, grant state guarantees and re-credit from means obtained from state loans. The new regulation will substitute the present Law # 943-XIII from 18.07.1996 on state debt and state guarantees.
- Draft law on state social insurance budget. The document increases by one percent the transfers of salary earners to the budget (4 percent of the salary and other recompenses). Employers will pay one percent less (25 percent instead of 26 percent in 2006). Holders of entrepreneurial patents will pay contributions in the amount of 2,318 lei a year to benefit of a minimum pension. Those working abroad will hold the right to a minimum pension, if they pay 2,318 lei a year. The single birth indemnity will count for 1,000 lei for every child. The parliamentary opposition has criticised the draft, fearing that the Government's social policy is inefficient, while the solidarity principle is incapable to stimulate the welfare system. It criticised the insufficient support for young families and children, high social contributions (one third of the employee's salary).
- Draft law modifying and completing some legislative acts (on state protection for victims, witnesses and other persons assisting a trial). It specifies categories of persons who benefit of protection, establishes a series of new regulations on competence of bodies in charge with applying and supervising measures of protection. The amendments aim to enhance the efficiency of these measures, consolidate mechanisms for identification and demonstration of grave offences.
- Draft law modifying and completing the law on mandatory health insurance. The category of persons insured from state budget includes persons capable to work who look after a disabled child under 16, as well as mothers of at least seven children.
- Draft law on modification of some legislative acts (remuneration of lawmakers, policemen). The document seeks the completion of the law on status of parliamentarian with norms which would allow lawmakers to receive "fees and other compensations in the amount established by Parliament" additionally to the pay stipulated by law on salary system in budgetary sector. These amendments could reduce the transparency of remunerations for public dignitaries, affecting the principle of "integrity and uprightness" of governance, public control on incomes of dignitaries. Article 6 (1) of the Law # 355/2005 on salary system in budgetary sector establishes that public dignitaries hold the right to a concrete monthly salary that represents the only form of pay. According to experts, the proposed modifications will "legalise" additional payments "for lawmakers by deputies" but criteria of calculation and concrete limits will not be publicly and transparently established.
- Other draft laws adopted in the first reading: on registers; on mandatory civil responsibility insurance for damages produced by motor vehicles; on technical regulation activity; on general security of products; on modification and completion of the law introducing additional measures aimed to sustain entrepreneurial activity in localities from the left bank of the Dniester river of the district of Dubasari.
1.3. Parliamentary control
Christian Democratic Deputy Ion Varta has asked the minister of culture and tourism to explain the degradation of some monuments of patrimony. Varta affirms that a lot of buildings of maximal importance remain abandoned and risk to disappear. "If they cannot be renovated at present, these buildings should be kept under record, included in the register of state patrimony in order to be protected against destruction," Varta said.
Christian Democratic Deputy Vlad Cubreacov has asked the prime minister and interior minister to explain respect for principle of separation of state from religious denominations, neutrality of state over any church and non-recognition of religious denominations by state's agents. His interpellation was based on a letter by Causeni police chief to Orthodox priests from the district, who demanded security at churches, technical-material fortification of churches by installing autonomous alarms, invoking requirements of the top leadership of Moldova, Government and Interior Ministry.
Democratic Deputy Vladimir Filat has demanded information about supply of consumers with gas, warning that gas providers who hold the monopoly on market refuse to connect consumers, if they do not pay for the planned consumption.
Deputy Ivan Banari has asked the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and European Integration to report on issuance of Romanian visas and resolution of appeals by Romanian authorities for opening of consular offices in cities of Balti and Cahul.
A group of 15 lawmakers (Valentina Golban, Igor Klipii, Oleg Serebrian, Veaceslav Untila, Ion Plesca, Vasile Grozavu, Anatol Onceanu, Ion Ciontoloi, Leonid Bujor, Vitalia Pavlicenco, Anatol Taranu, Valentina Cusnir, Zoia Jalba, Ion Neagu and Gheorghe Susarenco) submitted a motion on November 17 seeking the dismissal of some members of the cabinet of ministers for not speaking the official language. The motion envisaged Minister of Reintegration Vasile Sova; Minister of Transportation and Road Management Miron Gagauz; Minister of Information Development Vladimir Molojen; the director of the Agency for Constructions and Territorial Development Igor Semenovcher; and the director of the Agency for Land Relations and Cadastre Alexandr Bannicov. The Parliament did not examine the motion at plenary sitting, with the speaker telling signatories that the Permanent Bureau has examined the problem and found breaches of the procedure of submitting the motion.
Decision extending the implementation of EGPRSP for 2007. The Government has decided to extend till 2007 the action of some annexes to the Economic Growth and Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper (EGPRSP). The executive established that the institutionalisation of the EGPRSP process within relevant ministries and local public administration authorities was not always successful, while the implementation of certain chapters was delayed. The executive considers that the elaboration of a new economic growth plan which would coincide with the year of finalisation of the European Union - Moldova Action Plan would be inopportune. A new project on planning the strategic development of the country for 2008-2011 will be worked out in 2007.
Decision approving the regulation on territorial defence of the Republic of Moldova. The document was approved to execute the law on state of emergency, siege and war and regulates aspects related to organisation, tasks, principles of preparation, mode of ensuring, completing and using territorial defence teams.
Decision approving the regulation on making and sale of farmers' wine (Art.21 and 23, Law on vine and wine). Under the law on vine and wine, farmer's wine will be made and sold on basis of a special regulation that establishes minimum requirements for quality and safety that must be respected during these processes.
Decision on delimitation of vine growing and winemaking area. Under the approved document, the vine growing and wine making area of Moldova will be delimited into 4 regions (the South and Centre regions will cover about 90 percent of vineyards; the North, South-East regions), 22 centres and 83 fields. Vine growing and wine making areas are delimited to make wines carrying origin names and will allow the adjustment of conditions for making of this category of wines in Moldova to requirements of the International Organisation of Vine and Wine. The delimitation will allow a record in the field and will contribute to growth of volumes of higher quality wines.
Decision approving the Action Plan on Sustenance of Roma in Moldova in 2006-2010. The document derives from the national action plan on human rights and aims to contribute to fulfilment of recommendations by international institutions on protection of ethnic minorities. A number of ministries and central institutions will draft and approve concrete action plans in the field on basis of the approved plan.
Decisions approving some draft laws: on use of regenerating energy resources; on aeronautic security.
2.2. Sittings. Decisions. Statements
Participation in CIS summit
Minsk hosted the council of CIS premiers on November 24. The agenda included 31 issues, of which 24 were approved without discussions. The summit approved a plan on development and more efficient economic cooperation between member states in 2003-2010. Participants also studied a report by head of the Anti-Terror Centre of CIS member states and a report on staff policy. The signed documents included a draft programme on cooperation against trafficking in human beings for 2007-2010 and the strategy on cooperation in information field. Premier Vasile Tarlev has met with Ukrainian Premier Viktor Yanukovich and attended a meeting of CIS premiers with Belarusian President Aleksandr Lukashenko.
Assessment of activity of Economic Council
Prime minister has participated in a meeting with the Government's Economic Council, which focussed on improvement of business climate in Moldova and economic development of the country. According to a communication, the council has analysed and passed decisions on many draft laws and legislative initiatives by cabinet of ministers on economic activity in the past two years, contributing to fortification of the business-Government dialogue. The sitting outlined most pressing problems in entrepreneurial activity and ways to resolve them, exchanged opinions about organisation of the next forum of businessmen and problems which it will discuss.
Moldovan president signed several decrees on November 21 regarding awarding and regaining of Moldovan citizenship by 19 persons, including Ilie Ilascu. Another two decrees signed by Vladimir Voronin allowed 95 persons to renounce to Moldovan citizenship.
Moldovan president has issued decrees awarding state orders:
- Boris Gamurari, ambassador to Poland, was awarded the Labour Glory Order;
- Valeriu Bulgari, chairman of the UniAgroProtect Republican Union of Associations of Agricultural Producers was awarded the Labour Glory Order;
- Galina Rogovaia, chairwoman of PROSVITA - Taras Sevcenko Society, and Nicolae Meleca, chairman of the executive bureau of Universalcoop in Anenii Noi, were awarded the Civic Merit medal.
3.2. Sittings. Decisions. Statements
Participation in CIS summit. Meeting with Russian president
Moldovan president attended a sitting of the council of CIS leaders in Minsk, Belarus, on November 28. According to President Voronin, the summit has demonstrated that "the burial of CIS has failed in spite of any forecasts and scenarios." Voronin affirmed that "the CIS still has a good enough potential to resolve various bilateral problems, which are often very difficult." "I think that the CIS has crossed a state of fever and an absolutely new stage for its development is starting. Nobody wants to give up the unique system of multilateral relations established within CIS. This fact was very clear at the meeting," the Moldovan president has told a briefing for mass media accredited at the presidency.
Moldovan and Russian Presidents Vladimir Voronin and Vladimir Putin have addressed journalists at the end of a meeting, telling them the results of talks. The Russian president said that he had a consistent discussion with his Moldovan counterpart at which they examined problems linked to bilateral relations. Putin outlined special agreements on delivery of agricultural production to Russian market, cooperation in energy sector. Speaking about the Transnistrian settlement, Putin noted that he has agreed with Voronin to organise consultations on this topic soon. The Moldovan president was very satisfied with outcome of the meeting with his Russian counterpart, noting that the sides have agreed on solutions to most important problems. Voronin underlined that the Moldovan side has taken a complex of measures aimed to help ensuring the quality of alcohol and agricultural production, while the export will be based on new rules and a permanent control on quality of production. Speaking about cooperation in energy field, Voronin said that the Moldovan side has worked out several investment projects and proposes them to the Russian company Gazprom for joint investments in development of Moldova's energy sector. The final specification of the Russian president regarding energy cooperation reiterated the previous stance about "relations based on market principles, but in limits that satisfy both sides."
Establishing new regulations on exportation of vine and wine production
Moldovan president chaired a sitting on November 30 regarding rules on organisation of exportation of vine and wine production. He noted that the new rules and tasks are:
- The Agri-Industrial Agency Moldova-Vin alone will be in charge with organising the export of Moldovan wines accordingly to the "one-stop-shop" principle in future;
- Producers only will hold the right to export spirits;
- The Government will create a working group to keep a permanent record and correlate collected quantities of grapes and quantities of made wines and sold wines;
- The exportation of wines in bulk will be prohibited on January 1, 2007;
- Only the National Centre for the Control of Quality of Vine and Wine, which holds the exclusive right to issue conformity and quality certificates, etc., will assess the conformity of exported spirits.
Concerns with combating corruption in education
Moldovan president chaired a sitting on combating corruption in education system on November 23, raising concern with ample manifestations of corruption in the system and lack of necessary attention from the Ministry of Education and Youth toward prevention and struggle against corruption in subordinated institutions. Conclusions of chief of state were based on an "operative study" conducted selectively in pre-university institutions in the Chisinau municipality, which are typical to most pre-university institutions. President Voronin proposed a complex of measures aimed to reduce the influence of corruption:
- Adoption and implementation of anti-corruption resistance strategies at institutional level;
- Financial ensuring of teachers;
- Creation of a joint commission (made up of specialists of the Ministry of Education and Youth, force structures Centre for the Struggle Against Economic Crimes and Corruption (CCCEC), domestic security service SIS, Interior Ministry) to analyse, study and appreciate the national education system compared with the international legal framework;
- Creation of a joint database within CCCEC concerning corruption in educational institutions;
- Conduct of consecutive controls on education system by Ministry of Education and Youth, with the participation of NGOs in procedure of accreditation and certification of under-departmental institutions;
- Introduction of a strict record on use of public funds by all educational institutions and improvement of admission system (by modifying the formula of calculation of average mark for admission);
- Elaboration of a new mechanism to raise funds for needs of educational institutions (collection of money within district directorates only, which will monitor the usage accordingly to destination);
- Creation of some mechanisms for anonymous reporting of corruption.
Concerns with long examination of litigations and petitions
President Vladimir Voronin has chaired a sitting with the participation of heads of law enforcement, control and judicial bodies on problems linked to delaying the examination of petitions and appeals of citizens, penal and civil cases. The chief of state noted that the delayed examination and settlement of petitions from citizens, appeals from economic agents, judicial investigation and execution of legal cases on a series of civil and criminal causes must be combated. Trials last years and this fact hits the interests of citizens, state, reduces credibility of state bodies, affects the image of the country in general. This situation creates difficulties for Moldova in front of the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR), and that's why the chief of state demanded competent authorities to speed up the finalisation of delayed cases, especially of those with a high social resonance and those examined for more than one year, but with strict and unconditional respect for legislation.
Idea on revision of Constitution not supported any longer
Moldovan president has convoked a sitting on a legislative initiative regarding modification of Article 46 of Constitution (annulment of the norm on licit regaining of property). Although this amendment was proposed to optimise struggle against corruption and money laundering, the chief of state described the exclusion of norm on presumption of licit regaining as inopportune.
Vladimir Voronin noted that this modification runs counter right of citizen to private property and protection of this property, while Constitution stipulates that goods destined, used or resulted from offences or contraventions may be confiscated under law. The president noted that public debates on this legislative initiative should be held in mass media before modifying Article 46 from Constitution. At the same time, the chief of state underlined the need of revising the legal framework on income declarations by introducing a new chapter on expenditure declarations.
Meeting with representative of European Left
Moldovan President Vladimir Voronin has met the member of the executive council of the European Left Party, Helmut Scholz, member of the national executive council, head of the department for international policy of the German Left Party. The sides tackled democratic processes and role of leftwing parties in contemporary Europe, with Scholz informing the Moldovan president about latest evolutions of the European leftwing political movement (the European Left Party counts now for 27 political parties from 15 countries). Voronin noted that the modernising ruling party of Moldova is very interested in experience of the European Left Party.
Assessing situation of enterprises that face crediting and financial problems
A sitting on situation of enterprises included in the memorandum agreement with the Council of Creditors has heard a report on 150 businesses which have frozen and restructured debts. Moldovan president indicated the need of a detailed analysis of financial-economic condition of these enterprises, so that to formulate proposals on development of these economic units, depending on form of property and role of company in national economy.
On November 24, Moldovan president addressed a message to ad-interim mayor-general of the Chisinau municipality, saying that he backs appeals of the association for the protection of homeless animals seeking the ban of extermination of vagrant dogs and other community animals. Vladimir Vorinin condemned methods applied by specialists of the Chisinau City Hall, describing them as antihuman, incompatible with mode of management of the capital of a European state. The administration of the Chisinau municipality was told to take actions in order to stop the extermination of homeless animals and to prevent such barbarian manifestations in future. The Chisinau City Hall has shortly decided to allocate a field in suburbs of the capital to hold vagrant pets there.
Vladimir Voronin has chaired a sitting on development of sports in Moldova, being informed about a project on optimisation of institutions subordinated to the (recently created) Agency of Sports. Voronin welcomed the idea of reformation with the purpose to create optimal conditions for promotion and development of sports. The president outlined the important role of the Agency of Sports in promoting the sports in the republic, highlighting the need of a good organisation of activity of the newly-created structure and supporting the creation of territorial subdivisions of the Agency of Sports. The Moldovan president reiterated the necessity of arranging sport fields in rural localities accordingly to modern requirements. He recommended competent authorities to study and take over the experience in the field from other countries, in order to improve the financing mechanism for sports. Also, Voronin stressed the important role of the subject "physical education" in secondary education.
Republic of Moldova - Council of Europe
The Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe (CoE) continued debates in November regarding the execution of the European Court of Human Rights' judgment on "Ilascu and others vs Moldova and Russia". The Finnish Delegation reiterated concerns on behalf of the European Union Presidency with non-settlement of this case and called upon denounced countries to take all measures needed for the immediate release of Andrei Ivantoc and Tudor Petrov-Popa. Finland's representative reiterated that the delayed definitive execution of this judgment torpedoes the authority of CoE and the credibility of the continental human rights system. Also, the Finnish Delegation asked on behalf of E.U. member states the delivery of the 4th Interim Resolution on Ilascu case to the United Nations and the OSCE, but a decision on this issue was postponed for December 6 at the request of the Russian Delegation.
A meeting between Moldovan Speaker Marian Lupu and a delegation of the CoE secretary-general headed by Director-General for Political Affairs Jean-Louis Laurens has focussed on Moldova-CoE relations. The CoE functionary welcomed the efforts of the Moldovan Parliament's leadership for implementing the programme of legislative actions on Moldova's commitments toward CoE. Jean-Louis Laurens noted progresses in cooperation with civil society, judicial reform, anti-corruption struggle. The sides discussed eventual components and priorities of the next assistance document of European organisations.
The ECHR has accepted to examine urgently the applications of three Romanian-language schools from Transnistria, which accuse the Moldovan and Russian Governments of violation of fundamental rights, including the right to education and non-discrimination. Ion Manole, chairman of the association Promo-Lex, which represents the Transnistrian educational institutions in front of ECHR, has stated to Infotag news agency that two schools, the Evrica lycee in Ribnita and Alexandru cel Bun lycee in Bender, have applied to the ECHR in 2004, when the Tiraspol separatist regime prohibited their activity because they were not registered again. The Grigoriopol school applied to the ECHR this year. Manole noted that the ECHR has accepted to examine the two applications "due to situation of the Grigoriopol school, as fundamental human rights at this institution are systematically violated for many years." Governments of Moldova and Russia must present observations on the two cases to the ECHR by December 14. Representatives of the three schools accuse Russia of violating their rights because it has contributed to appearance and maintenance of the separatist regime in Tiraspol. The Moldovan Government is accused of incapacity to guarantee fundamental human rights in the republic, with the Transnistrian region being part of the Republic of Moldova.
Republic of Moldova - European Union
The trilateral meeting E.U.-Moldova-Ukraine on border problems finished in Brussels on November 22. Participants debated issues related to cooperation with the E.U. Border Assistance Mission (EUBAM) to Moldova and Ukraine, joint border control, demarcation of the border between the two states. The Moldovan Border Guard Service and the Administration of the Ukrainian State Border Guard Service have signed a protocol on exchange of information about border problems in presence of the European commissioner for External Relations, Benita Ferrero-Waldner, in Brussels.
Odessa hosted the 4th meeting of the EUBAM Consultative Council on November 30, which brought together officials of foreign ministries, customs and border guard services of Ukraine and Moldova, representatives of the E.U. Presidency and the European Commission, EUBAM, the OSCE Mission to Moldova, the International Organisation for Migration, E.U. special representative for Moldova. General Ferenz Banfi, EUBAM head, unveiled a report on the first year of activity of EUBAM. Participants appreciated the actions that contribute to a better control at the Moldova-Ukraine border and saluted the adequate implementation of the December 30, 2005 Joint Declaration, protocols on exchange of information between customs and border guards services of Moldova and Ukraine. Members of the Consultative Council supported the continued implementation of assistance projects and initiatives of EUBAM for 2007 regarding participation of law structures from both states in investigating border offences, intensification of cooperation with E.U. agencies (FRONTEX, EUROPOL, etc.), better cooperation in migration problems, as well as launching of a public information campaign against corruption.
Moldova exported goods worth about 240 million dollars to the E.U. in the first nine months of this year, by 6.5 percent more than in the similar period of last year. According to data of the National Bureau for Statistics, Moldova's exports to the United Kingdom rose roughly three-fold in January-September 2006, France - 1.7-fold, Slovakia by 35.2 percent, Poland by 18 percent. Food products, drinks and tobacco, textiles and items, vegetal products, footwear are main groups of goods exported to the E.U. At the same time, Moldovan economic agents have imported goods worth about 560 million dollars from E.U., by 6 percent more than in the similar period of 2005.
Republic of Moldova - Romania
Romanian President Traian Basescu has stated to the German publication Frankfurter Rundschau that Romania wants to persuade E.U. members to include Moldova in the accession package for the Western Balkans. Moldovan Minister of Foreign Affairs and European Integration Andrei Stratan has described the statement of Basescu as "very important", noting that it comes to support the efforts of Moldovan authorities. Speaking about Romania's support in the E.U. accession process, Stratan said that Moldova relies on assistance of all E.U. member states and "Romania's assistance is normal and it should do this. We would also ask other E.U. member states to share Romania's stance in order to include Moldova in the South-East European package of accession to the European community."
The Romanian ambassador to Moldova, Filip Teodorescu, has told a news conference dedicated to the National Day of Romania that relations between Romania and Moldova cannot be but of privileged partnership and the support for Moldova will have a special meaning once Romania joins the E.U. "We are sure that Moldova deserves a European destiny. The commitment to support it in order to be witnesses of a successful transformation of this country and its readjustment to European values results from this profound conviction," Teodorescu noted. He underlined that Romania supports the implementation of the Moldova-E.U. Action Plan, starting from immediate priorities of Chisinau and modalities of support that Romania can offer.
At the same time, the Romanian ambassador raised concern with the low number of Moldovan citizens who apply for visas to travel to Romania starting January 1, 2007. Teodorescu noted that the consulate receives daily about 50-70 individual and collective applications from Moldovan citizens who are used to celebrate the winter holidays (old style) in Romania and "there are grounds to believe that the number of visa applications will grow very much in the last days of December and this fact would create big difficulties to functionaries of the consulate, who will not manage to issue visas in 2-5 days or urgently." The Romanian ambassador underlined that the Embassy has taken the necessary diligences to open two general consulates in Cahul and Balti as soon as possible and it expects the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and European Integration to allow logistic measures in order to open the two consulates. "The rapid opening of these representations also depends on prompt reactions of the Chisinau authorities," the Romanian ambassador added.
According to findings of recent surveys, a considerable number of Moldovans want to obtain Romanian citizenship, but a relatively low number declare themselves Romanians. According to the Barometer of Public Opinion for November 2006 conducted by the Institute of Marketing and Surveys IMAS-INC Chisinau, 51 percent of Moldovan population wants to gain Romanian citizenship, while only 14 percent declare themselves Romanians; 85 percent of the number of persons who want to regain the Romanian citizenship intend to use it in order to leave for abroad, while every fifth respondent said that he would have the possibility to work in Romania legally this way. One percent of the interviewed persons said that they hold Romanian passports, while 8 percent consider that it will be harder to obtain Romanian passports after Romania joins the E.U. According to the Barometer of Public Opinion conducted by the Centre of Sociology of Communities of Gender Researches (CSCSG) and commissioned by the Institute of Public Policies, about 18 percent of respondents have already applied for regaining of Romanian citizens, while 10 percent hold passports.
According to a communication by the Romanian Border Police, a network of Romanian traffickers who have recruited Moldovan nationals for work in the Schengen area was annihilated. The five members of the network of traffickers are suspected of having eased the fraudulent passage of Moldovan and Romanian citizens on basis of fake Romanian travel documents. It was established after investigations that the network of traffickers has worked starting 2002 and it trafficked at least 20 Moldovan and Romanian citizens. Eight Moldovans have been recently held at the Romanian-Hungarian border when they were trying to cross illegally the border near the Bors Customs, being guided by a Moldovan national by telephone to travel to Italy for work.
Republic of Moldova - Russian Federation
Russian and Moldovan presidents have agreed on problems related to deliveries of Moldovan agricultural products and wines to the Russian market, discussed issues linked to cooperation in energy sector, but without clear results. They discussed the Transnistrian settlement in general, appreciating joint efforts aimed at resuming the political negotiations in the previous format.
The 8th sitting of the Moldovan-Russian intergovernmental commission for economic and commercial cooperation has signed several documents, notably on cooperation in humanitarian sector for 2007; on cooperation between ministries in charge with training and education; between academies of sciences; regulation of problems of state internal currency debt of the former USSR and regulation of Moldova's debt toward the Russian Federation. Zinaida Greceanii, head of the commission on behalf of Moldova, said that the talks have been constructive and the Moldovan side hopes to find sustainable and convenient solutions to the problems of natural gas price and resumption of wine exports by the end of this year.
Moldovan Prime Minister Vasile Tarlev has said that our country wants that the Russian Federation join the World Trade Organisation (WTO) as soon as possible, but certain bilateral problems especially those related to cooperation in the energy sector should be resolved first. The procedure of paying VAT for the imported gas at destination (Moldova), accordingly to WTO norms, is an aspect of principle.
Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Grigori Karasin met Transnistrian "president" Igor Smirnov on November 18. According to an official communication by the Russian Foreign Ministry, the sides tackled the situation in the region and the Transnistrian settlement, taking into account the "obstacles for resumption of the dialogue created by unilateral measures of interdiction applied against Transnistria-based economic agents." They also examined issues related to implementation of previous agreements reached at level of Russian Government, development of interdepartmental cooperation. The sides outlined Russia's intention to provide in continuation the maximum necessary support to restore the confidence climate and reduce the confrontation between the sides participating in the Transnistrian conflict, in the spirit of activation of the Russian-Moldovan dialogue. Smirnov informed Russian authorities over preparation of elections in the region, at which he will compete for a new presidential mandate.
Moldova in the world
The agreement on restructuring of Moldova's foreign debt in the amount of 15.4 million dollars toward Japan was signed. The bilateral document stipulates the restructuring of Moldova's debt toward Japan till 2022, in line with provisions of the protocol on restructuring of foreign debt, which the Paris Club Creditors and Moldovan Government signed in May 2006. Chisinau has recently agreed to restructuring of foreign debts in the amount of about 14 dollars toward another two external creditors, Italy and the United States. The date of signing of agreements with the Russian Federation and Germany will be established soon.
Studies, Analyses, Comments
Elections in Gagauzia
Igor Botan, 30 November 2006
The electoral campaign for election of governor of the Gagauz autonomy has entered the last stage. On December 3, 2006, approximately 85,000 electors who reside the autonomy will cast their ballots for four candidates registered by the Central Election Commission (CEC) of Gagauzia
Leu - "holy column" of economy
Iurie Gotisan, 1 December 2006
The Moldovan leu turned 13 on November 29. It is not a very long period, but also not too short and the central bank has managed to prevent a system crisis by playing the role of a guardian that ensures the stability of the "holy column" of economy - the "strong leu" - in spite of all difficulties