Publication: Monitor Volume: 3 Issue: 82

In statements made at a special cabinet session and to the government daily on his 100th day in office, President Petru Lucinschi expressed serious concern over what he described as halt to reforms in Moldova since 1996. Lucinschi called for relaunching the reforms even if it entails "tough, unpopular measures." He gave the cabinet, and implicitly the parliament, three months to improve tax collection, introduce progressive taxation, demonopolize the energy sector and liberalize energy prices, finalize industrial privatization, reduce the pension system’s burden on the state budget, launch administrative reform, and begin turning agricultural land into a market commodity. First Deputy Prime Minister Ion Gutu (responsible for economic reforms) and Finance Minister Valeriu Chitan, in turn noted that the past year has been wasted with respect to reform and that Moldova’s international image has deteriorated since the country lost its early lead among states in the region in the implementation of macroeconomic reforms. (Moldova Suverana, April 24; Flux, Basapress, April 23-24)

Lucinschi’s call for action seeks to address the concerns of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank, which have recently held up credit disbursements to Moldova and expect its new presidency to relaunch the reforms. However, Lucinschi’s room for action is limited by a parliament that has veered leftward and grown unwilling to accept the social costs of reforms in the remaining year of its mandate.

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