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News 13 Dec 17

Support for EU Grows Again in Moldova

A new survey suggests that Moldovans have slowly started to regain trust in the EU after the theft of $1 billion from three Moldovan banks under a pro-European government in 2014 seriously undermined its support.

Mădălin Necșuțu
BIRN
Chisinau
 
 Moldovan traditional clothing. Photo: gov.md

A survey published this week by the Institute of Marketing and Surveys suggests that Moldovan citizens are again more in favour of their country joining the EU than the Russian-led Eurasian Economic Union, a shift in opinion from the start of this year.

About 60 per cent would vote for the country to join the EU and 44 per cent would vote for membership of the Eurasian Economic Union, according to the survey.

Thirty-two percent of respondents would back Moldova’s reunification with Romania, it also found.

This is a significant change from a previous survey carried out by the same agency in April 2017, which suggested that 45 per cent supported EU membership and 49 per cent wanted to join the Eurasian Economic Union led by Russia.

The new survey also suggests that 74 per cent of people still think that Moldova is going in the wrong direction and 43 per cent are displeased with the situation in their country. 

The theft of $1 billion in 2014 was a serious setback for Moldova, and for support for joining the EU.

Moldova is one of Europe’s poorest countries, with a gross domestic product of only $8 billion and an average wage of $200 per month.

When it comes to politicians’ ratings, the survey suggested that pro-Russian President Igor Dodon is still the most popular in the country with 36 per cent of the respondents’ support. 

Dodon was followed by Maia Sandu, the leader of Action and Solidarity Party, PAS, and Prime Minister Pavel Filip, both with 33 per cent support. Sandu and Filip both favour pro-European policies.

The ratings for political parties were similar; the Socialists (PSRM, pro-Russian) have the support of 37.4 per cent of respondents; PAS (a pro-European party) enjoys 20.1 per cent support and the Democrat Party (pro-European, led by oligarch Vlad Plahotniuc) has 15.6 per cent. 

The survey also suggests that 30 per cent of Moldovans have a right-wing political orientation, and 19 per cent favour centrist and left-wing parties. Another 32 per cent said they didn’t know or they didn't want to answer the question. 

The Institute of Marketing and Surveys questioned 1,101 people over 18 years old from all parts of the country, except the breakaway region of Transnistria. The survey has a margin of error of plus or minus three per cent.

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