Chisinau local administration's frozen accounts make elections difficult

The City Hall's frozen bank accounts make it difficult to hold the elections in Chisinau, said deputy mayor of Chisinau Mihai Furtuna on Monday. As many as 21 accounts of the city hall's structures remain blocked, Info-Prim Neo reports.
Info-Prim Neo, 9 February 2009, 16:21

2009-02-09/14:41/ Chisinau (IPN) "We cannot organize polling stations, since the accounts of district offices and of the Finances Direction remain blocked. Neither can we pay the utilities," the deputy mayor told the staff meeting of the City Hall.

Mihai Furtuna says the municipality will ask Termocom heat supplier to ask the court to unfreeze the bank accounts. "We recognize our debt to the supplier and we'll pay off as we proposed: by 30 million lei a month, plus the payments for the current consumption," the deputy mayor said.

Botanica district head Vladimir Guritenco says that, although the district office had presented the draft budget to hold the elections three months ago, the money cannot be u sed. According to the praetor, if the situation does not change, it's possible that the polling stations are not prepared in due course. The lack of financial resources makes it difficult to organize the elections well, he said.

Chisinau mayor Dorin Chirtoaca has announced he will ask the Central Elections Commission (CEC), at a meeting on February 10, "to intervene to unfreeze accounts". He calls on the companies to be involved in organizing the elections in Chisinau to provide the services and to accept to be paid after the ballot. "The elections will take place anyway, I don't think it's a reasonable solution to postpone the elections until Termocom reconsiders its position," Chirtoaca said.

Termocom's press service has stated for Info-Prim Neo that will lodge no request to unblock the account, as the municipal administration requires.

The City Ha;;'s accounts have been blocked for several times. First, a Chisinau cou rt blocked the accounts of city hall chancellery in October 2008, then later in January a court sequestered the subdivisions' bank accounts.

2009-02-09/15:46/ Municipality advises Chisinau residents to pay only two-thirds of January heating bills

Chisinau (IPN) The Chisinau administration is advising the inhabitants of the city depending on district heating to pay only two-thirds of their bills for January. "There's no sense for the consumers to pay these bills in full, because they received at least by 30 percent less heat than what they should have", said Mayor Dorin Chirtoaca at the City Hall's ordinary meeting on Monday, Info-Prim Neo reports.

Housing department head Petru Gontea said the heating bills for January would be by some 15 percent more expensive than in December, although in the first two weeks of the year, due to the gas crisis, the temperatures in radiators were by 5-6 degrees below the standard levels.

Chirtoaca labeled the situation "insulting of the Chisinau residents", where they have to "pay more for using less". The mayor instructed relevant municipal officials to address a petition to the utility Termocom and demand a recalculation of the bills for January.

"If Termocom rejects the petition, a second one will be addressed to the Government", said the mayor. "The Government, which is responsible for the steady supply of energy resources, should assume these costs, especially since it has promised it will afford compensations to the Chisinau residents. This is the perfect occasion to fulfill its promises", declared Chirtoaca.

Sources within Termocom's press unit have told Info-Prim Neo that "the bill calculation for January is done in full agreement with the legislation". They didn't tell how much and average bill would indicate, but said that they had no idea where the City Hall officials took their information from.

Government spokesperson Vitalie Condratchi has told Info-Prim Neo "the Government doesn't comment on the irresponsible statements of the mayor". "Termocom is a municipal enterprise and this situation should be settled by the Chisinau authorities", he added.

In another connection, Mayor Vlad Cotet suggested the mayor should consider interrupting the supply of heat when the outdoor temperatures exceed 8 degrees Celsius, as it happened in the last three days. But Chirtoaca replied "the closing of the heating season at this point is unacceptable"; however, he said the temperatures in the radiators should drop when the weather gets warmer.

"The amounts of the delivered heat should be no less and no more than needed. It sometimes happens to be an interest for collecting extra money from the population", said Chirtoaca, adding "They (Termocom) make profit of delivering more heat. The situation is alarming and condemnable, but as long as we have no control over Termocom and the heating & power plants, it is impossible to deal away with this problem".

Info-Prim Neo learned from Termocom's press unit that "the temperature of the delivered heat is always adjusted to the temperature outside".

Earlier the municipal authorities expected the heating bills for January to be at least by 40 percent cheaper, due to the gas shortage experienced in the first half on January.