*Chisinau to receive technical assistance after concrete reform measures
Premier Dacian Ciolos announced on Tuesday at a joint press conference with Moldovan Prime Minister Pavel Filip that the Romanian Government is ready to support the Moldovan Government’s European path and reform programme, however the Republic of Moldova has to come up with several measures meant to show her will to carry out reforms.
Premier Dacian Ciolos stated on Tuesday, after his meeting with Moldovan Premier Pavel Filip, that Romania conditions the first tranche of the reimbursable financial assistance agreement on a set of concrete reform measures that the Moldovan Government should adopt.
“Before offering the first tranche, we want concrete measures that would demonstrate the will to reform,” Ciolos said, pointing out that the list of reforms will be forwarded to the Moldovan Government by the end of this week.
The Romanian Premier pointed out that this first tranche of the reimbursable financial assistance agreement reached by Romania and the Republic of Moldova and signed in Chisinau on October 7 last year, stands at EUR 60 M. The tranche is dependent on the ratification of the agreement in Parliament, Ciolos added, pointing out that he had talks on this issue with Lower Chamber Speaker Valeriu Zgonea.
At the same time, the first tranche will also depend on the results of the IMF’s first visit in Chisinau, the Romanian Premier stressed. Ciolos stated he discussed this topic with EU Commissioner for Neighbourhood Policy Johannes Hahn, who has a similar approach.
In the first stage however, Romania plans to offer to the Republic of Moldova emergency support for the most needy of her citizens, support that mainly consists of basic products, Ciolos stated.
“Setting out from clear reform commitments that we hope to see on the part of the Moldovan Government on a practical level, not just on a declarative level, the Romanian Government is ready to support, on these conditions, the Republic of Moldova on her European path and to support this reform programme. Political stability in the Republic of Moldova is important not just for the Republic of Moldova but also for the security of the region and for Romania,” Ciolos emphasized.
“I had a detailed discussion with Premier Pavel Filip and members of the Moldovan Government. This visit has contributed to a better understanding of the difficult situation the Republic of Moldova is going through and has allowed us to understand what is happening in Chisinau and what the Government’s position on this situation is.
We know the difficulties in the Republic of Moldova. To the extent in which the Moldovan Government commits to reforms, the Romanian Government has in mind [offering] support; in the first stage in order for the needy citizens to make it through the winter period. In the following days, we will analyze the possibility of offering basic products, which we would offer directly to Moldovan citizens.
Political stability is important in the Republic of Moldova, not just for this country but also for Romania and the whole region. We are ready to offer reimbursable support too, one that Romania promised. We hope the ratification procedure will make headway in the following weeks,” Dacian Ciolos said.
“The credibility of the Parliamentary majority that backs the Moldovan Government clearly depends on the capacity to take decisions, to implement reforms that are first of all expected by the Moldovan citizens but also by Romania, as a neighbouring and partner country, and based on the signals I have also expected by the European and Euro-Atlantic partners. We encourage the Government to keep in touch with the representatives of civil society, to listen to the legitimate grievances and expectations that go in the direction of keeping the Republic of Moldova on the European path,” the Romanian Premier stated.
He pointed out that Romania wants to coordinate its financial support with the European Commission and the IMF too, the support set to act as “a bridge” between the current moment and the moment in which the Republic of Moldova will be able to sign an agreement with the IMF.
According to Ciolos, “in a third stage, to the extent in which the Government proves that it commits to structural reforms that would ensure a European path, we are ready to come up with other action plans and support programmes in this direction.”
Pavel Filip: Romania’s financial support is vital for Moldovans
Moldovan Premier Pavel Filip, who paid an official visit to Bucharest on Tuesday, stated that Romania’s financial support is “vital” for Moldovans.
“Maybe now more than ever, the support is vital for Moldovan citizens. We are going through a tense situation. The swearing-in of the Government saw pressure from the Socialists, who want snap elections. There were violent acts too, but things have calmed. Snap elections do not fall under the executive power’s prerogatives. We have to be careful and stabilize the Republic of Moldova. This Government is determined to prove that it is a pro-European one, a label compromised by the Moldovan political class. The reform agenda and the re-launch of external cooperation are priorities. We will not engage in populism and we will focus on actions,” Premier Pave Filip stated.
President Iohannis promises Moldovan PM Filip support on the European path
President Klaus Iohannis told visiting Moldovan Prime Minister Pavel Filip on Tuesday that Romania stands next to the Republic of Moldova and supports her European path.
“Romania is definitely alongside the Republic of Moldova. We want to support you on your European path, and I am sure that together we will find the best approaches,” Iohannis told Filip at the beginning of their meeting at the Cotroceni Palace, the seat of the Romanian Presidential Administration.
“You, Mr. Prime Minister, and you, vice prime ministers and ministers, have taken over a difficult mandate, in hard times, but I think this difficult tenure can also be beautiful. You have a great opportunity, through firm reforms carried out, to restore Moldova’s political, economic and financial stability, and ultimately restore Moldovan citizens’ confidence in a government being there to deal with Moldova’s and Moldovans’ problems,” the President asserted.
“Welcome! Shortly after your appointment, you have decided to pay a visit to Bucharest. I am glad to be able to welcome you at Cotroceni. It is, in my opinion, a sign that you want to carry on the close relations between the Republic of Moldova and Romania. I am very happy about it,” President Iohannis greeted PM Filip.
“It may be the last-chance government for the current political class”
Moldovan Premier Pavel Filip stated on Tuesday at the Cotroceni Palace, during his meeting with President Klaus Iohannis, that the Government he leads is probably the last chance for the Moldovan political class.
“I told you on other occasions too that this may be the last-chance government for this political class, because the latter is guilty for the situation the Republic of Moldova now finds herself in. I wanted you to hear this from me and I thank you once again for having accepted to hold this meeting in order to convince yourself that we are determined to deliver results. We will not focus on populism because the results that citizens are waiting for are not to be found there. We will focus on actions, as I have said,” Filip told Iohannis.
“I want to start by thanking you for having accepted very quickly for us to hold this meeting, just a few days after the Moldovan Government was sworn in. It is a signal that the Republic of Moldova is by Romania’s side, or better put that Romania remains by the Republic of Moldova’s side,” Filip said.
The Premier added that the Republic of Moldova is facing several crises, a social and political crisis, not just a financial one, and that it needs stabilization, and his Government is aware of the difficult times it has taken over.
“We see and we know this crisis, which is not just a financial crisis but also a social, economic and also a political one. We know that the Republic of Moldova today needs stabilization on all these levels. Starting from this fact, we are determined to work day and night in order to deliver results in the end,” Filip said.
“I was saying today that never before have I felt deep down the power of the expression “a friend in need is a friend indeed.” In fact, I am paying my first visit here because we rely a great deal on your support,” Filip added. To which President Iohannis said: “It will be so!”
“Moldova needs to feel Romania closer more than ever before”
On his first visit to Bucharest as Moldova’s Prime Minister, Pavel Filip said Tuesday that Moldova needs to feel Romania closer more than ever before.
“I am delighted to pay my first official visit here in Romania, both for its symbolism, because Romania has always been by Moldova’s side, particularly in times of crises, as well as for pragmatism. The Republic of Moldova needs to feel Romania closer more than ever before,” Filip told a meeting with Senate Speaker Calin Popescu-Tariceanu.
He said the new Moldovan Government was sworn in some days ago “amidst huge tension generated by the Socialist opposition.”
“I would have liked the swearing in to be different, because as far as I am concerned there are even more efficient instruments to question the Government, listen to what the government programme is and come up with suggestions later on to the programme,” said Filip.
In his turn, Tariceanu underscored that Romania is trying to identify all ways of support for Moldova.
“I wish you good luck with the very difficult task ahead of you but life is made of challenges and our role is to try and face the challenges and find the best solutions to social, political and economic issues, there is no need for me to tell you that.
I am commending you for visiting the Romanian Parliament and holding political discussions related to the issues of shared interest. I want to stress that shortly after you took over the Prime Minister’s office, you decided to pay this visit to Romania, a country that has been by your side and we are trying to find all ways to support Moldova to the best of our abilities and experience. You are more than welcome and I am looking forward for this meeting to be only the first in a series of meetings where we can cooperate to the advantage of both sides,” said Tariceanu.
Zgonea: Parliament will re-examine law on loan to Moldova so it can be promulgated
Chamber of Deputies Speaker Valeriu Zgonea on Tuesday said the Romanian Parliament will re-examine a law granting 150 million euro in repayable financial aid to the Republic of Moldova, so it can be promulgated by President Klaus Iohannis.
“From Romania’s Parliament’s point of view, we have this framework document, an agreement between the two governments, in the amount of 150 million euros. It was sent back by the President [to Parliament] (…). All the parliamentary political groups, but mostly the PSD [Social Democratic Party] and the PNL [National Liberal Party] are focused on being able to deliver it back in the constitutional shape asked for by the President so it can be promulgated. You have Parliament’s support as long as the reform project you proposed to Moldova’s Parliament keeps within the commitment you made to the EU and to Romania when we decided to grant you this loan,” Zgonea said at a meeting with Moldovan Prime Minister Pavel Filip.
Zgonea added that it is essential for the Republic of Moldova to continue reforms, to implement democracy, to generate jobs, prosperity, stability and predictability in the political area.
President Klaus Iohannis in November sent back to Parliament for re-examination a law on repayable financial assistance for Moldova, arguing that it was not timely because there was no certainty of reforms continuing in Moldova or commitments for the implementation of Moldova’s association agreement with the European Union being honoured.