When they have nothing to brag about and the ratings must be maintained, the authorities remember about the “glorious past”. This trick is particularly current this year, when the presidential elections will be held in Moldova The 75th anniversary of the victory over fascism is exactly what is needed.
Igor Dodon’s ambitions are obvious: the intention to take over again as head of state.
There will be no achievements, because, in fact: the country is in recession. Because of the pandemic, an unprecedented crisis has begun in the world. The crisis has not bypassed Moldova either. It is not yet clear what consequences will be for the Moldovan economy, but they will certainly prove to be difficult. Nor can it be about achievements, but rather about survival, and this issue will grind not only ordinary citizens, but also the Cabinet of Ministers. The government has already increased the state budget deficit from 7.4 billion to 16.2 billion lei, more than double. However, the authorities have not abandoned some of the plans that could be postponed until the end of the crisis.
On February 5th of this year, the government adopted a resolution “On the organization and conduct of events dedicated to the 75th anniversary of the victory over fascism and the memory of the heroes who fell for the independence of the Fatherland.” The plan includes about 40 items, including donation of wheelchairs and wheelchairs for veterans, medical care, competitions, concerts and other events. All this requires money, but the explanatory note to the judgment indicates the estimated cost of only two elements. The first provides for the capital repair of the Eternity Memorial Complex. The Chisinau Institute project estimated the restoration of this unit at about 4 million lei. Another point concerns is the making of commemorative medals. For this, 195 thousand lei was allocated.
The intention of the authorities to repair the memorial provoked a wave of criticism. Political analyst Ion Tebârță said in an interview for Jurnal.md that “this action is not included in the agenda of the authorities, which should now focus on the fight, the pandemic and its consequences. It is a Russian-inspired propaganda campaign carried out in Putin’s style.” He also noted that “May 9, of course, should be celebrated, it is necessary to honor the surviving veterans on this day, regardless of whose side they fought, but in any case, it is not necessary to turn this day into a propaganda holiday with geopolitical accents.”
Economic expert Sergiu Tofilat expressed the same feeling. “Dodon is campaigning and doesn’t care about the pandemic period, the doctors and the citizens. Instead of postponing non-emergency expenses and redirecting money to the health care system, the government follows the president’s stupid orders,” Tofilat said in an interview for Jurnal.md. The portal’s journalists also spoke with the former head of the Border Police, Rosian Vasiloi. “I am categorically against this actions. Dodon follows Putin’s narratives, as in the case of medals for veterans,” the former official said.
President Igor Dodon tried to justify himself. “The repairs to the memorial began long before the crisis, as far as I know. And we need to see if it can be stopped at the current stage and whether halting repairs will be more costly than completing them,” the head of state said in early April. It’s hard to imagine that the president didn’t know exactly when the renovation of the memorial complex began. Igor Dodon paid particular attention to this issue, judging, for example, by one of his Facebook posts. However, if the president, burdened with serious state tasks has forgotten how it all started, we will recall.
So on February 5, the government approves a plan, and one of the points provides for the repair of the memorial complex “Eternity.” So far, the new coronavirus has gone beyond China. On 13 March, the Public Procurement Agency registered a contract for the activity signed by the Support and Material Management Agency of the Ministry of Defence and Magda company. The total value of the contract was 2.33 million lei.
Two days before the repair contract was registered, the WHO officially declared the COVID-19 pandemic status. In Moldova, the first case was registered on March 8th, and by March 13th there were 8 cases. On March 10, the government decided to close schools and kindergartens. Thus, Dodon’s statement that “the repair. started long before the crisis” is false.
Meanwhile, after allocating money from the budget for the reconstruction of the memorial complex, the Government collects donations to combat COVID-19. Since 5 May, more than 22 million lei have been transferred to the accounts of the Ministry of Finance, open for this purpose. Some of the money has already been spent on the purchase of protective equipment, the shortage of which is openly declared by health workers.
All this plays against Igor Dodon. Other times, the renovation of the complex could have had a positive impact. However, it is obvious that now when the whole country is forced to tighten its belt and dissatisfaction with the authorities is growing in society, the granite slabs of the complex restored with taxpayers’ money can bury the president’s rating and his hopes for a re-election.