29 years of “independence” – where do we come from and where are we heading?

Alexei Repede, president of Worldwide Moldovan Business Association:
29 years of “independence” – where do we come from and where are we going?

Today marks 29 years since the Republic of Moldova declared its independence. Hundreds of thousands of citizens greeted this historic event in the Great National Assembly Square in Chisinau. All those present there, believe that with independence, better times would come. Three decades of vain promises, hopes and disappointments…

In 29 years we have had Governments with various political visions. Governments that have promised economic miracles, but whose mandates have resulted in large-scale failures and almost no success. It is not surprising that, in almost three decades of independence, the country’s population has practically been reduced to half.

How can young people dream of their future here, at home, if:

  • we record the lowest salaries in the area (the minimum wage is ~ $170/month, and the average salary is $380/month);
  • about 10% of the country’s population lives on the edge of poverty (264 thousand citizens, according to UNDP);
  • the elderly receive monthly pensions that are much lower than the value of the minimum consumption basket (682 thousand registered retirees (excluding employees of law enforcement agencies), receive a monthly average pension of 1,643.72 lei or a minimum pension of 1,025.00 lei, while the subsistence minimum for one person is 1,891.00 lei);
  • the standard of living in the Republic of Moldova is the lowest in Europe.

The socio-economic situation that the Republic of Moldova is currently facing is a precarious one. In these 29 years of independence, all we did was, in fact, become more dependent on everyone else. We are proud to be an agricultural country, but in the store chains in the country you rarely find a local food product. We wholesale our cereal products at a time when no self-respecting state does. We are happy for the short-term gain, but we forget the losses we will bear in the long run.

The country’s industry currently does not exist… Few know that The Moldovan Institute of Food and Industry used to produce food for cosmonauts. Or that the Alpha Factory produced hundreds of thousands of color TVs, which was a real technological revolution in those days. Alfa also produced military telephone equipment. The Sigma plant produced on-board computers for ballistic missiles, MIG and SU aircraft, but also for the Soviet MIR space station. At Tracom, about 260 thousand tractors were produced during the activity. We supply parts for the construction of submarines. Today, only ruins remain in the places where tens of thousands of people were employed.

Who are we today and where are we going?

  1. The poorest and most corrupt state in Europe;
  2. Forever undecided about which way we want to go: East or West, pro-Russian or pro-Romanian.

We prefer someone else to decide our fate. In Romanian, we have a proverb saying that a sword will not cut a bowed head, we’ve bee following this proverb for three decades. We are waiting for the “external partners” to be the ones to solve our problems…

The Republic of Moldova has seen and endured a lot. Moments of glory, but also of terrible falls. Statements meant to attract capital and political image must disappear from the agenda of those who admit to being politicians. The chance of our country is one, to encourage people, to put aside hypocrisy and personal interests and at least once in three decades to remember that we are a state. An independent state.

Best wishes, Moldova!