About Moldova in the period of 2009 parliament elections
Republic of Moldova (Moldavia) is an ex-soviet country situated between Romania and Ukraine. It is the descendant of the medieval State of Moldova, it is the poorest country in the Europe and the corruption here flourishes. The only abundant resources that can be found here is rich soil (chernozem or black-earth) and building materials (granite, limestone, clay, gypsum). Yet, people have money; here you can see a lot of luxurious cars, houses, shops. How do Moldavians survive, what are their real problems? Do they care about their country situation?
Legislative elections 2009
On 5 April, 2009, the citizens of the Republic of Moldova, must elect the new parliament which, according to Constitution, will elect the new countryâ€™s President. The parliament is consisted from 101 deputies; the president is elected with 61 votes. Vladimir Voronin, the actual president of Moldova, has two consecutive mandates and can not be elected for presidency anymore.
The 2001 and 2005 legislative elections were won by the Party of Communists of the Republic of Moldova (PCRM), when they had respectively 71 and 56 deputy mandates.
Vladimir Voronin, the leader of the Party of Communists, now the President of Moldova, was elected with no difficulty in 2001, but in 2005 Communists needed 5 more mandates. To solve the problem they had to ally with Christian Democratic Peopleâ€™s Party of Moldova (PPCD), a nationalist party, and other two parties from opposition Social Liberal Party(PSL) and Democratic Party of Moldova(PDM).
That was strange, because PPCD was seen by people as the opposition party that will never support communists. PD, PSL and Alliance Our Moldova (AMN) formed the Electoral Bloc Democratic Moldova (BMD) that was the biggest opposition alliance, but first two left the bloc. PPCD, PDM, PSL were called traitors, many of their members regretted later they had supported Communists, others justified that their action was necessary in order to avoid chaos in the country, but the main idea of betrayal remained in Moldaviansâ€™ minds.
Many people expected that the 2005 parliamentary elections will bring a change in the countryâ€™s politics, that Communists will no longer have the power to rule, but it was a total disappointment. Communists kept the power and strengthened it gradually.
The 2009 parliamentary elections are expected to bring a change in the countryâ€™s politics, Penalization of traitors and the rise of modern parties.
After leaving of Soviet Union in 1991, the Republic of Moldova had to choose which way to go further: to unite with the country that has the same language and culture â€“ Romania or to remain an independent as State.
Unification with Romania was not possible because of several reasons, Moldovan society was composed of many groups of pro-Moscow minorities that didnâ€™t want to live together with Romanians; the political elite didnâ€™t want to loose power; people that were influenced by Soviet ethnic politics claimed that Romanians and Moldavians are distinct nations; for some reason Romania was not quite opened to unification.
It remained independent, but culturally unified with Romania.
This is a painful subject.
Life in USSR was dominated by soviet ideology and the State was in the center of it; the soviet economy, a centralized one, was totally different from the market economy, a decentralized one. The economy began to shrink with a fast rate because there was no longer the same demand for products as it was in USSR. People faced the new market economy laws where the State has less power. The politicians assumed what to do, but in fact they had no idea. With social care system collapsed and unpaid salaries for closed factoriesâ€™ employees and budgetary employees, corruption became the only chance survive in the new world.
Corruption penetrated at all the levels of society; it was normal to give money to a medic that has just consulted you or to bribe someone in local administration in order to obtain some benefits for business you own, or to bribe to obtain a favorable decision in a judicial process. Beside this criminality in general and especially organized one aroused.
These things were largely accepted by Moldovaâ€™s inhabitants because the State couldnâ€™t do anything to change or to prevent them. Politicians could not control the situation because they didnâ€™t have the experience needed to rule efficiently in a fast changing world, when the country faced problems that in USSR maybe did not exist or happened at a small scale.
Given that, Moldovans started to leave the families, going to work in foreign countries where they would have big salaries, enough to sustain the family home. Countries like Russia, Germany, France, Greece, Italy, and Spain are favorite destinations until now.
Today, the official number of citizens working in foreign countries is more than 320.000 people, 25% of active population; the unofficial statistics indicate more than half a million people. In 2008 they sent officially more than 1.6 billion USD; unofficially it was speculated that it could be a sum between 2 and 3 billion USD. The GDP in 2008 was estimated at 6.197 USD. Taking into account these and the fact that Moldovaâ€™s economy is mostly based on agriculture with little export, the main external source of money comes from Gastarbeiters (people who work in foreign countries, guest workers), who support living of their families home. If people have money to spend why wouldnâ€™t there be opened businesses to gain these sums. The Moldovaâ€™s economy develops, because people wanted to satisfy their needs by buying what they need.
The State makes money collecting income taxes, VAT and other taxes, which come from businesses that have families of Gastarbeiterers as clients. Of course, not only Gastarbeiterers contribute to the development of the country, but is the main flow of money coming in the country. Recently, a survey showed that many of these workers would return, if they had a salary of at least 500 euro per month in Moldova.
The State should attract people to invest money offering them a favorable environment for business meaning low-level taxes, stable legislation and a reduced corruption.
Taxes for business are relative low; from this point of view itâ€™s good to make business here.
Legislation is unstable, laws change frequently; itâ€™s hard to work in such an environment.
The corruption remained the main factor that prevents investing in Moldova; itâ€™s a national plague, consequence of poverty and mistrust in the abilities of State.
The level of salaries in Moldova is from 500MDL (50 USD) to 10000MDL (1000 USD), in multinational companies could be earned more than. A young man rarely earns more than 4000 MDL, this is a maximum. A 2500 MDL (250 USD) salary is a rather good for youth, it covers costs like: rent (aver.60-100USD), food (aver.100USD) and transportation (aver. 30-50 USD), but not enough to do some savings or to take loan. A simple family with one child could make 5000-6000MDL per month, hardly could it permit to buy a used car or an apartment, maybe in decades. The level of prices here is almost the same like in European Union, the biggest part of salaries goes for food, rent and transportation.Recent polls reveal that 34.3% can’t afford to satisfy their strictly necessary needs, 37.8% say that can satisfy only strictly necessary needs, that means that more than 70% of Moldavians just survive.
Yet, the capital, Chisinau, is full of luxurious cars, houses and shopps, people are well dressed. How do they manage to be so generous? Gastarbeiters. Many say that almost anyone has a relative who works or worked in a foreign country and helped with money. Other source of money are corruption and dubious businesses that have the power to corrupt almost any clerk.
Moldovaâ€™s politicians can be divided in three main groups:
those who are Romanian nationalists and have a pro-Occident orientation
those who are pro-Moscow oriented
those who are moderates between first two.
Until 2001, the politics was dominated by nationalist and moderates. they have put the basis of market economy, adopted the main codes of laws, started to implement decentralization of regional administration and revived the Romanian culture of Moldovans, in the same time denying Soviet ideology that Moldavians in Moldova have a distinct ethnicity than Romanians in Romania.
Since 2001, the political power passed to the Party of Communists. This one is a pro-Moscow oriented party, it promised an official status for Russian language and that the prices will fall for the main food products. They also brought back the Soviet ideology about Moldavians being a distinct ethnicity than Romanians.
Communists Party pretends it was the only party that actually developed the country. In fact, they continued what did their predecessors. It was hard to live before 2001 because a new state of law had to be built on the ruins of old one, market economy was germinating and the social care system was young, beside the Russian Crisis dragged Moldova’s economy after real progress.
Although, the Communists’ Party had the majority in Parliament, it didn’t stopped the liberalization of the economy, but continued reforms. It