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28 November 2021
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Gheorghe Russu

Vice-director, The Center for Combating Economic Crimes and Corruption

Parties-Phantoms, Parties - State Institutions, Parties - State Enterprises

Ion PREAŞCĂ

20 parties have registered in the current election campaign. Many people say it is a too big number for such a small country as Moldova. At the same time, much more parties could take part in the election campaign.

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Activists launch Moldova’s first ‘Space Camp’ © Susan Coughtrie

The Bread Zilch

The bread price reduction by 20% from February 1 promised by the president Vladimir Voronin turned out to be a zilch and instead of the expected political dividends on the eve of parliamentary elections the Communist Party and its leader received another wave of dissatisfaction from both consumers and bakers.
Ion COŞNICEAN, 5 February 2009, 15:48

Voronin promised to reduce the prices for the most popular sorts of bread, the price per kilogram of which made up 4.7-4.8 lei. However, this has not happened. Only the cheapest bread has cheapened, and namely "Chisinau" (0.8 kg), "Codru" and "Alba" (0.5 kg each). Their price decreased on Sunday from 1.9 to 1.5, from 2.05 to 1.5, and from 1.75 to 1.3 lei, accordingly.

This could be great, but the thing is that those types of bread practically do not get to shops. People queue from 6 o'clock in the morning at the central factory shop in Chisinau to buy them. The supplied quantities of cheap bread are very small, as it is distributed first of all to social institutions funded from the budget (children's homes, boarding schools, asylums for the elderly, prisons).

Thus, ordinary consumers have gained nothing from this price reduction. If the authorities really wanted to help people, they should not cut the prices for cheap bread, but increase the quantity of it, as it is still unavailable.

Another solution could be to bring down the price for "De grau" (0.68 kg) and "Satesc" (0.65 kg), as well as "Orasaneasca" (0.5 kg) bread. Their current price makes up 2.9 lei, 3.5 and 2.4 lei accordingly. In fact, "De grau" has become a rarity on the shelves lately.

It is clear that it is not profitable for "Franzeluta" and other bread-bakers to make cheap bread, bearing in mind that the last increase in prices for bread took place in 2003. The prices for gas, electricity and oil products have gone up several times since then. Besides, the main argument of the president in favor of price reduction - the record harvest of wheat in 2008 - is only partially true. Wheat was purchased in autumn for double its price now. In addition, there was not so much grain with sufficient gluten. Therefore, voluntary bread price reduction is not an issue.         

Obviously, this is a purely populist measure. Nowhere in the region is bread as cheap as in Moldova. The picture will probably change right after the elections. Usually, the reserves of flour end by the beginning of summer and it becomes more expensive. The prices for oil products go up every agricultural season and nobody will be able to hold down the bread prices. And if Moldova is affected by the main wave of the world crisis, not only low prices, but the destiny of the entire national economy will be at stake.  

 

Ion COSNICEAN



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