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Governance of pro-European parties left bitter legacy for Moldova, president says

September 13, 2017, 15:24 UTC+3 CHISINAU

Moldova has been ruled by the coalition of pro-European parties since 2009

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Moldovan president Igor Dodon

Moldovan president Igor Dodon

© Sergei Ilnitsky/Pool Photo via AP

CHISINAU, September 13. /TASS/. Moldovan President Igor Dodon believes that the eight-year governance of the coalition of pro-European parties has left bitter legacy for the country, he told reporters after a meeting with new Head of the EU Delegation to Moldova Peter Michalko on Wednesday.

"I told the envoy that, unfortunately, eight years of the so-called European integration of the Chisinau authorities that gambled on the living standards in the EU have left bitter legacy," the head of state said. He stressed that Michalko used to work in Moldova and has knowledge of the situation in the country.

"He can’t be surprised with a EU banner flying over ministry buildings or cars. I’m also confident that he is neither surprised nor delighted with the imitation of a pro-European position by way of intention to place the European integration in the constitution as a priority," Dodon noted.

Head of the ruling Democratic Party of Moldova Vladimir Plahotniuc stated earlier that the ruling parliamentary majority intends to include in the framework law a regulation on the European integration as the country’s strategic course. He explained this initiative with the ruling of the Constitutional Court as of September 9, 2014, that says that commitment to European democratic values is the key element of Moldova’s constitutional identity.

The Party of Socialists of the Republic of Moldova (PSRM) that supports Dodon said, for its part, that it would block this initiative in the parliament. Votes of more than 67 out of 101 parliamentary members are needed to change the constitution, and the PSRM has about 60.

Failures of pro-European governance

Moldova has been ruled by the coalition of pro-European parties since 2009. The coalition leaders pledged to spare no effort to see Moldova as a member of the European Union. The coalition’s rule however was accompanied by an economic crisis, a series of corruption and political scandals. Last autumn, mass grass-roots protests erupted around the country when the country’s government was found to be behind the embezzlement of one billion euros from the banking system. Under pressure of these protests, two government were sent to resignation and former Prime Minister Vlad Filat, who was the leader of Moldova’s Liberal Democratic Party, the core of the ruling coalition, was arrested and convicted on corruption charges.

A new coalition was formed by two other members of the former coalition, the Democratic and Liberal Parties, and a number of lawmakers from opposition parties. However, latest opinion polls demonstrated that about 80% of Moldovans have no confidence in the government and the number of those who support the policy towards closer ties with the European Union has dropped since 2010 from 70 to 48%, despite the visa-free travel granted by the European Union, whereas the number of those who want integration with the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) exceeded 54%. These moods impacted the November 2016 presidential elections won by Igor Dodon, who then headed the PSRM that sought integration within the EAEU.

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