Interview given by Prime Minister Vlad Filat to the MOLDPRES News Agency
Chisinau, 10 August /MOLDPRES/ - MOLDPRES: Mr. Prime Minister, on 9 August, you signed an instruction regarding the Balti municipality (Moldova's second largest settlement). Is this a consequence of a government meeting, recently held in this city?
The instruction that I signed provides for the working out of an action plan for the settlement of the present problems and improvement of the social and economic situation in the Balti municipality. Concretely, the setting up of a working group is envisaged, that will be made up of both representatives of the government and the Balti local authorities. The working group during a 30-day period will elaborate and present the above-mentioned draft action plan, with a clear-cut distribution of responsibilities and terms of fulfilment of the actions stipulated in the plan. Also, during three months, the working group will work out and submit a draft law on the Balti municipality's status to the government for approval. By the way, the working group might attract representatives of other state institutions, civil society and other experts in its activity, if necessary.
If to return to your question, we may say that this instruction may be interpreted inclusively as a consequence of that meeting, yet not only. If you want, it is about actions that result from an objective situation, which emerged long before the Balti government meeting and long before other actions that have taken place over the last time, and that need to be settled.
Can we say that the relation between the central authorities and the Balti municipality's leadership has normalized?
I describe as constructive the dialogue I had with Balti city mayor Vasile Panciuc, as well as other representatives of the local authorities. This is a good example that, via dialogue, many of the current problems may be settled. The important thing is that there is willingness to do that. At the same time, I disapprove of the actions which have obviously political goals. They have nothing in common with the citizens' interests and cannot yield results for the good of the society, the people. I hope that this fact has become clear for everybody and we will not have excesses in the long run.
We are willing to further contribute to the settlement of the problems faced by the Balti municipality, and here I would like to remind that talks with the development partners, which regard the supply of the city with trolley busses, as well as the settlement of other pressing problems. I am firmly sure that we may achieve much via cooperation, while the confrontations cannot yield good results for the people.
There is an opinion that what happened in the case of the Balti municipality created a dangerous precedent, which could be at the basis of the further actions by the local authorities from other towns. By the way, a similar process seems to start in Soroca.
Let's not exaggerate. The opinion expressed by representatives of the Soroca local public authorities can be understood, from a certain viewpoint. This town has earlier had the status of municipality. Something else is strange - the fact that Soroca lost this status as a result of errors committed by the former government, which did not take into account all the aspects when cancelling the previous administrative and territorial reform, and now the situation is presented as a problem namely by those who committed mistakes at that time. Nevertheless, I do not want to throw stones into anybody's yard - I said this just as a specification. I consider that Soroca, as well as such towns as Cahul, Ungheni and Orhei, both from the geographic viewpoint, and the social and economic viewpoints, must have status of municipality. And this fact fits into our vision on the decentralization reform. Therefore, the demarches by the local authorities from these towns, made in strict accordance with the legal norm, will enjoy the needed support within the Moldovan government.
By the way, at what stage the decentralization reform is?
We have already worked out the normative framework. The decentralization strategy was published in the Official Paper (Monitorul Oficial) on 13 July. We are at the phase of implementation of the action plan on the strategy's enforcement. By the way, one of the provisions of the plan refers to giving the status of municipality to some towns of national importance for the development of economic growth poles. The action plan has a period of implementation till 2014, and once it is fulfilled, we will be able to say that we overcame more problems faced by the local administration at present. This plan is too much comprehensive for me to refer to it within a single interview. Yet, the plan is public and anybody willing to consult it may do this. It is important that we move in this direction with the needed speed, and I am sure that results will follow as well.
Mr Prime Minister, I cannot but ask you about attempts to involve the local authorities in certain obviously political actions.
I regret that some politicians make policy only via destabilizing the situation and taking people out on barricades. Presently, we are in a moment of maximal importance for Moldova's future. And if we want to live in a free, democratic, prosperous state, we should prove unity, solidarity, while taking into consideration the fact that we have common goals. At present, our society needs unity more than ever, and the contribution of the local authorities to this end is a basic element. Therefore, I will say you directly that I rely on the maturity and responsibility of the local authorities, and I think that they will not let themselves attracted in political adventures, which are eventually harmful to us, the citizens of Moldova.
Thank you for the interview.