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Moldovan prime minister urges heads of districts to support new government

January 27, 19:40 UTC+3 CHISINAU
Filip outlined the new government’s priorities and promised that the financial problems of the regions would be settled in the near future with the loans Moldova is to receive from Romania and the IMF
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© EPA/ROBERT GHEMENT

CHISINAU, January 27. /TASS/. Prime Minister of Moldova Pavel Filip has urged the leaders of the country’s districts to support the new Cabinet, the resignation of which is demanded by the opposition that stages protest rallies. He made this statement at a meeting with representatives of the regions in the capital Chisinau on Wednesday.

"Given the tense situation in the country, I want to say that nothing can be built amid chaos. Moldova needs stability. Only this way can we help the districts, and you - complete the investment projects which have been suspended due to the lack of funds in the budget," the prime minister said.

Filip outlined the new government’s priorities and promised that the financial problems of the regions would be settled in the near future with the loans Moldova is to receive from Romania and the International Monetary Fund (IMF). "The funds will not be distributed on the basis of political affiliation", Filip said.

Referring to the demands of the protesters, the prime minister called them "impracticable." "When the protests began, they were sincere, the citizens demanded to solve the social and economic problems. This is not only legitimate, but also useful to the authorities. Today the situation has changed - the protesters insist only on early elections," Filip said.

On Tuesday, Filip said that "the government respects peoples’ right to protests which should be held peacefully and in a civilized manner, within the framework of the law. But any freedom ends where the freedom of others begins. Violence, blocking of streets, highways and various other facilities are inadmissible. The government will act within the framework of the law to protect the rights and freedoms of all citizens," Filip said, adding that the authorities were ready for dialogue with the opposition, but the protesters "are declaring ultimatums and reject talks."

He said the demands of the government resignation and early elections were impossible. "It might throw Moldova into a profound crisis with unpredictable consequences - in three to four months the country will be uncontrollable when all are busy with the election campaign," the Moldovan prime minister said. "The government will not be able to fulfil its liabilities, including payment of wages and pensions."

However he admitted that after six years the ruling pro-European coalition, accused of corruption by the opposition, had been in power people lost any confidence in the authorities. "Moldova’s political class has a last chance to win back the confidence of citizens and development partners. We must spare no effort to win back this confidence," Filip said.

Filip met in Bucharest on Tuesday with his Romanian counterpart Dacian Ciolos and President Klaus Iohannis.

Among issues discussed at the Bucharest talks was unblocking of a loan of 150 million euro Romania had promised to extend within the next five years last autumn but postponed until the political situation in Moldova clarified. Romania’s prime minister said Bucharest would extend the first tranche after this decision was approved by the president and parliament on condition Moldova stuck to the pro-European course.

"The first tranche under the memorandum will amount to 60 million euro. It will be extended immediately after the parliament is back from the vacations and ratifies a relevant document which is to be signed by the president," Ciolos said. "But everything will depend not only on the ratification. Before transferring the first tranche we expect the Moldovan government to demonstrate its commitment to reforms. Apart from that, we are waiting for the results of the first visit by a mission from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to Chisinau." He called on Filip to "heed the country’s civil society which is striving for the European Union membership." "Stability in Moldova is vital not only for the republic but also for security of the entire region," he added.

The Moldovan parliament approved Filip’s Cabinet on February 20. During the session of the legislature, the building picketed by tens of thousands of supporters of the opposition Socialist Party, Our Party and Civic Platform DA (Dignity and Truth). As a result, the new government was approved within six minutes as the MPs of the opposition’s Socialist Party blocked the parliament’s tribune and gave no chance to the candidate for the prime minister to present his program. The opposition supporters were angered by the move and decided to storm the parliament building. More than 30 people were injured in clashes with police. The new government’s oath-taking ceremony was held hastily and some its members failed to attend it. The opposition believes that the power in the country has been usurped, it does not recognize Filip’s Cabinet and demands early parliamentary elections.

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