“If you don’t vote for Europe, you won’t get any EU money”

“If you don’t vote for Europe, you won’t get any EU money”

The European future prospects of Moldova, a candidate for EU membership, seem to be becoming increasingly bleak given the divisions in its society. However, head of state Maia Sandu does not try to consolidate her compatriots on this issue, but instead provokes people with questionable statements regarding the distribution of EU funding.

By Alex Men

Contrary to the European Union’s recent decision to begin accession negotiations with Moldova, the small ex-Soviet republic’s Western-oriented policy is proving extremely difficult. In this regard, the past local elections in particular have once again highlighted the divisions in the Moldovan population and have significantly curbed the European ambitions of its political leadership.

“If you don’t vote for Europe, you won’t get any EU money”

In the vote for mayors and other local political leadership positions that took place in November, President Maia Sandu’s ruling party “Action and Solidarity” (PAS) only received a total of just under 33 percent of the vote – a clear defeat in view of the extensive political support from the EU and the rigorous government campaign to suppress the Moldovan opposition.

Many see this result as a rejection by voters of the pro-Western course of their political leadership, which, however, does not want to change its policies and continues to push Moldova’s rapprochement with the West despite the obvious disunity of its citizens.

Sandu, among others, recently fueled this conflict even further with some provocative statements, thereby once again discrediting herself as president, who has been courted by the EU for years as a model European democrat. Sandu has the agency TASS According to the statement, those regions in which the opposition won the elections would not receive any EU funding. Accordingly, the loans and grants from the European Community of States should only be made available to those regions that support Moldova’s accession to the EU.

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She said this at a political event in the capital Chisinau, attended by more than five hundred mayors of cities and rural regions: “As far as European money is concerned, I would like to ask you: those mayors who are against the European Union – if any here There are mayors present who are against the EU – do you think that the European Union should give you money if you don’t support the EU? Where is the logic here? The state’s money is distributed to all regions, and the money that from the EU and taxpayers of EU countries will go to those who share these values.”

Finally, those who do not support a pro-European course for Moldova are essentially acting against freedom and democracy as well as against the development of the republic, which is only possible thanks to the support of foreign partners. “If someone opposes our path, then they are also against the money that is used for the development of Moldova […]”, said the head of state.

The Moldovan parliament speaker and PAS leader, Igor Grosu, went even further and accused the opposition-minded citizens of having voted for a “barbaric” development of the country and of having “voted the wrong way” anyway. “We have to analyze and see which villages and which cities have elected the pro-European mayors and, first of all, motivate them, and those who have chosen a different vision, a barbaric model, receive standard funding from the state budget,” quoted the portal EADaily Thick.

Moldova: Local elections are a setback for the president's pro-Western course

Basically, the statements by Sandu and her party imply that the EU loans, which only go to those who voted for Moldova’s “European path”, do not necessarily only have to be repaid by these regions. This undemocratic attitude of the Moldovan leadership not only distinguishes between “right” and “wrong” voters, but also punishes the “opposition regions” twice. Not only do they not get any loans, but they are still expected to pay for the repayment.

In addition, observers see this as an open attempt by the ruling party PAS to influence people’s political decisions in their favor with a view to the upcoming presidential elections – by providing additional financial resources.

The EU obviously doesn’t seem to have a problem with this approach. She had already made it clear several times that she fully supported the Moldovan leadership in its policies and was also satisfied with how Chisinau was implementing the steps necessary for the EU accession talks.

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