Second week of massive anti-graft protests in Moldova

Anti-government protests continue in Chisinau, demonstrates call on President Timofti to resign over bank fraud that affect living standards

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Protesters hold up a banner that reads 'Constitution of the Republic of Moldova; Adopted on July 29, 1994' during an anti-government rally, organized by the civic platform 'Dignity and Truth,' in central Chisinau, Moldova

At least 20,000 people in Moldova's capital Chisinau held a second week of protests, demanding President Nicolae Timofti to resign following his siphoning of $1.5 billion.

As well as demanding his resignation, Moldovans want him to stand trial over allegations of his bank fraud scandal, which affected their living standards.

The protesters - the largest protests since the post-Soviet period - also demanded early elections to be held by March 2016.

Protest leader Vasile Nastase said that he met with officials on Tuesday to negotiate the withdrawal of the protesters, but said that the talks "yielded no results."

"They will live in the 'Dignity and Justice' tent camp until the authorities fulfill our demands in full," said Nastase, during the start of the protests, a member of a pro-Western the civil platform movement Demnitate si Adevar (DA), responsible for the organisation of the protests.

Around $1.5 billion disappeared from the Unibank, Banca Sociala and Banca de Economii banks ahead of the November 2014 parliamentary elections before they banks were placed in administration.

Moldavians started to rise up against the government on May 3, when up to 50,000 people walked to the parliament building demanding the implementation of EU reforms.

In mid-July, hundreds, mostly young Moldovans, walked approximately 430 kilometres from the capital of Moldova, Chisinau, to the Romanian capital Bucharest calling for the reunification of the two countries.

Moldova’s newly elected Prime Minister Valeriu Strelet has appealed to the Russian Federation for a new start in relations, and has denied the country plans to unite with EU member Romania.

President Timofti, on the other hand, claims his country has been pro-EU since 2012.

With 3.5 million citizens, Moldova is one of the poorest countries in Europe, with the average salary standing at around $200 per month.

TRTWorld and agencies