Prime Minister resigns
Prime Minister Chiril Gaburici has resigned after questions were raised over the validity of some of his school certificates.
The move is, however, only part of the story and the question of the possible falsifying of certificates whilst important has become entangled with an ongoing corruption investigation of much greater importance.
In a press conference the Prime Minister said “Today, I want to make an unprecedented announcement for Moldova. I want to announce my resignation. I believe that once this done, there will be no suspicion that the investigation was not carried out correctly and transparently, and the issue of my diploma, which has no objective importance in the context of the present economic situation in Moldova, will be withdrawn from the agenda. Thus, the public opinion will focus on real problems of the country.”
The corruption issue stems around $1 billion that went missing from Unibank, Banca Sociala and Banca de Economii. The missing money came to light in May when the Central Bank discovered that the three banks had given out loans worth $1 billion or about 15% of the country’s GDP. The transactions took place just before last November’s general election but who received the money and what has happened to it remains a mystery. The Governor of the Central Bank of Moldova and the head of the country’s National Commission of Financial Markets (CNPF) have since been sacked.
The sheer size of the fraud could well lead to the country experiencing state budget problems especially with its debt standing at $1.7 billion.
The Prime Minister, in his resignation statement alluded to the problem faced by his successor. He said “I have already talked about the situation of banks, insurances system, general situation in the economy and country. I believe that we cannot mime reforms and urgent and concrete actions are needed in order to improve things. Otherwise, we become accomplices and prisoners of the present situation.” He went on to say “Now, I appeal to the coalition’s leaders to see in my resignation a step forward, an immediate start to create a new parliamentary majority and a new government. I want the fight against corruption, depoliticizing of all institutions, as well as securing of the financial and banking sector to be put at the basis of the new government’s action programme. I also want the initiatives of the government, of my team, to be followed for the good and prosperity of Moldova. I hope that my resignation will mean for the coalition the creation of a new parliamentary majority, a stable one this time.”
The resignation has come just two days before Moldovans vote in local elections on Sunday.
You can read the Prime Minister’s full statement in English as published on the Moldpres website here.