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news 24 Nov 17

EU Agrees Aid to Help Moldova Reforms

Ahead of a summit of the EU’s ‘Eastern Partnership’ in Brussels, Moldova has obtained aid worth 100 million euros to modernize its economy and plug budget holes.

Mădălin Necșuțu
BIRN
Chisinau
The EU approed100 million euros. Photo:  go.md.

The European Union and Moldova signed a package of documents in Brussels on Thursday that will enable Chisinau to receive macro-financial aid worth 100 million euros.

According to reports, Moldova will receive 40 million euros in the form of a grant and 60 million euros as a loan. The first installment is due to arrive by the end of this year.

The agreement was signed by the European Commissioner for Economic and Financial Affairs, Pierre Moscovici, Moldovan Finance Minister Octavian Armasu and Moldova National Bank governor Sergiu Cioclea in the presence of Moldova’s Prime Minister, Pavel Filip.

It is intended that the financial aid will help the pro-Western government in Chisinau to address gaps in next year’s budget.

Obtaining the money from the EU was the main target of the Moldova authorities attending the fifth Eastern Partnership, EaP, summit on Friday in Brussels.

Moldovan authorities were uncertain about this micro financial aid after the main pro-European ruling party, the Democratic Party, alongside the pro-Russian opposition Socialists, this summer made changes to the country’s electoral system – despite receiving a negative recommendation on the topic from the Venice Commission.

The EU criticized the changes strongly and initially threatened to withhold the offer of 100 million euros.
Prime Minister Filip stressed that his country was determined to strengthen its banking system, improve the business climate and ensure that no more money laundering cases happened through Moldova`s banking system.

Moldovan banks and judges were implicated in a huge scheme of laundering Russian money, worth at least 20 billion US dollars, in 2014, an OCRRP investigation revealed.

European Economic and Financial Affairs Commissioner Moscovici stressed that Moldova needs to accelerate reforms in line with the country’s Association Agreement between the EU.

The EU’s Eastern Partnership includes Ukraine, Georgia, Moldova, Armenia, Azerbaijan and Belarus, and aims to tackle corruption, improve the rule of law and economic modernisation.

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