“Chronicles of the Disaster”. The Government Reported on the First One Hundred Days of Work

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Natalia Gavrilita tried to present the disastrous results of the first months of her government’s work in a positive light. That didn’t come out right
Semyon ALBU, RTA: We can barely remember any another Moldovan government that encountered so many crises in such a short period. The rightists, who triumphantly emerged from the electoral cycle with their small and inexperienced team, literally got into the millstones of harsh reality where one problem replaces another and where you need to do business, not criticize. Therefore, one could only sympathize with Natalia Gavrilita’s Cabinet of Ministers – yet, there is no such desire. After all, it is all of us, the residents of Moldova, who should be sympathized with as we have to go through these rough times being led by one of the most unprofessional and incompetent governments in the country’s history. The day before, the Prime Minister appeared before the cameras to report on the first hundred days of the Cabinet of Ministers. Her speech was a classic attempt to make a “good face” amid a really very poor game. Starting with what had (not) been done during the reporting period, Gavrilita immediately tried to justify herself by referring to the three crises which Moldova had to face at once in recent months: the pandemic, the price and the gas ones, but, according to her, everything possible had been done to prevent the adverse effects. Moreover, she did not forget to mention the staff shortage which remains unresolved so far. Therefore, given all the circumstances, she voiced her personal satisfaction with the activities of her ministers. Few people, I suppose, can express similar impressions about the government performance. Even yesterday’s report shows how bad things were throughout these three plus months. This is not to mention the fact that Natalia Gavrilita’s speech contained mistakes and covered up some glaring facts. Take, for example, the epidemiological situation. We were told about the mass purchase of tests and vaccines, about the supply of hospitals with equipment, and about the promotion of immunization. And what’s the reality? The cannibalistic PAS bill on cancelling benefits for the families of unvaccinated employees involved in the fight against COVID-19 who became infected and/or died from it while exercising their duties. This will clearly entail an additional exodus of the already scarce medical staff from the country’s medical institutions. Absolute mortality anti-records, which the ministry of health is trying to “soften” by openly unveiling manipulations with statistics or by adding those who died last year to the dead list of recent days! There have already accumulated a huge number of questions to the department and its chief, but these latest pieces of news are just inconceivable. The reports about the progress of immunization are funny to read amid an obviously stalled process when the percentage of those vaccinated is growing at a snail’s pace and vaccines are massively disposed of due to the expired shelf life. Noteworthy are statements about the allegedly cheaper PCR tests, which simply do not exist in Moldova, which, by the way, was admitted even by the ministry. Moving on. The price crisis has certainly affected the entire world, and our small and poor republic, in fact, is not able to do much to resist it. But the government, apparently, did not really try. To present the notorious increase in pensions as a measure of counteraction was simply hypocritical – this was one of the points in Sandu’s election program last year and it has little to do with the current situation. Yes, the increase itself was a positive step, but even so it was implemented roughly. So, a minimum pension of 2000 lei for everyone had been announced, but when it came to fulfilling promises, reservations about full experience, etc. didn’t keep us waiting. As a result, the increase turned out to be far less extensive and affected a much smaller number of people. So it is hardly suitable as a means to combat the escalated prices, that have increased along with tariffs, including due to the gas crisis, where the fault of the authorities is quite obvious. Yes, everything described was really just a taste of what was to come with the gas. My colleagues have repeatedly covered this issue in detail, so it makes no sense to talk about why and how exactly problems arose. We can only admit that a series of failures of the authorities in this direction will cost us billions of lei – both in the coming months and in the long term. At the same time, Gavrilita still dared to bring ridiculous, but extremely expensive gas purchases from alternative sources to the credit of Cabinet of Ministers. Indeed, buying crumbs of overpriced Russian gas under the guise of a foreign one is an incredible success. Okay, the contract is concluded with a significant price increase, it’s a fact. A 2.4-times increase in gas tariffs for the population and economic agents immediately followed. The final figures are the highest in the country’s history. All experts and former officials say in unison that such a “shock rise” will accelerate prices even more, and will also lead to an increase in other tariffs. What did the government do? At first glance, it did the right thing by offering a compensation package totaling 1.6 billion lei. Still, according to experts, the amount of expected payments in many cases is insignificant, especially compared to how tariffs have increased. Former Prime Minister Ion Chicu pointed out that the compensation was increased by only 40% – even less than during his government, when the situation was much easier. And the DA platform noted that the assistance package should be at least twice as large. Not less criticism was caused by the irresponsible decision of the government not to help industry or business in any way. The latter has already suffered greatly from the pandemic, and now it has to endure new prices for gas and other utilities. As one might guess and as our contemporary classic used to say, “not just everyone” can do this. There is already talk of an increase in prices for goods and services in the HoReCa sector by at least 30%. Gavrilita tried to justify herself by saying that the gas price under the new contract is allegedly two times lower than the market price, however, keeping silent about the fact that the tariffs themselves are already quite at the European level. Having “dealt” with the crises, Natalia Gavrilita did not fail to clarify that, despite all the problems, the government has been relentlessly following the “major plan” for cleaning up state bodies, fighting corruption, etc. It’s funny that the scandalous law on the prosecutor’s office, which was mildly criticized even by the Venice Commission, was among the achievements along the way. And yes, the trial of Alexander Stoianoglo is still ongoing, although there is still no clear list of evidence-based charges. But, according to rumors, there is already a candidate for the vacant seat, who will be most likely paved a direct path to the chair through all competitions and selection procedures. By the way, many of those who have proven themselves well during Plahotniuc’s rule either remain or even return to their government posts – is this also such a “party line”? It is difficult to refrain from emotional assessments when talking about the work of the government, but even if we try, we still can’t work out anything good. The promised “good times” still do not come, but new crises loom ahead. I assume that the next bomb will start “ticking” on the left bank, where threats to cut off electricity supplies have already begun to sound. The situation is alarming, especially since there is no one to talk to Tiraspol right now after Vlad Kulminski’s resignation. And taking into account the “gas” experience, it would be better to start taking actions now, rather than trying to remedy another aftermath in a crisis mode when there’s almost nothing left to save. Natalia Gavrilita confidently declares that there will be no more resignations, and in general, the current Cabinet of Ministers is setting up for a four-year period of work. However, it increasingly seems that the colleagues’ previously voiced opinions that the current government will act as a kind of a “suicide squad” are not far from the reality. And next year, in the wake of almost inevitable popular discontent, we will most likely be thrown a “bone” in the form of the resignation of the Cabinet of Ministers and the appointment of new “good technocrats”. All this was experienced by Ukraine after the triumph of the green team, who failed almost everything in just two years, and Moldova probably has to go the same way after the victory of the “yellow”.