“Chisinau Days”, organized for the Moldovan diaspora abroad, will cost the city budget 12 million lei. The data are presented in the capital’s municipality preliminary budget for this year.
The events organized in an election year can be regarded as an attempt to earn the loyalty of as many electorates as possible, experts believe. At the same time, Ion Ceban’s advisor Natalia Ixari said that such events had already been held for 4 years and were organized jointly with the partner cities local authorities.
The organization of events in these countries, according to the preliminary budget for 2024, will cost the City Hall 9 million lei. However, the municipal authorities do not intend to stop there - another three million will be allocated for six events that will take place within the framework of “Chisinau Days” in Romania. At the same time, for example, the mayor’s office intends to spend a little more than 788 thousand lei for the maintenance and construction of roads in Chisinau this year. That is more than 15 times less than for foreign concerts.
Andrei Curăraru, a public policy expert, believes that the funds allocated for the concerts could have been relocated to other purposes amid the crisis in education and social assistance.
“We need to be very clear about what these events are organized for. For example, they could seek to attract diaspora investment in Chisinau businesses. If concrete examples can demonstrate that these events result in the arrival of investors and investments and the return home of people from the diaspora who create jobs here, then such events would be justified. Still, what we see are just PR actions with the mayor’s participation. Different photos with different people,” Watch Dog’s public policy expert Andrei Curăraru said.
Journalists wanted to talk to Ion Ceban about it, but did not find him at his workplace. The city mayor’s counsellor Natalia Ixari did not give a direct answer to the questions, but clarified that it was not the first time that the events were held.
“The ‘Chisinau Days’ project has been in existence for four years. It is a project realized in cooperation with several administrations from different cities and countries. These are partners of the Chisinau City Hall, with whom we organize exhibitions, book presentations, performances, and promote artists," she said.
The capital’s culture department informed TV8 that the mayor’s office will organize events abroad this year, but in which cities it has not yet been determined, because the plan of events is still being developed.
“This is a promotion of our culture; we are trying to be closer to our citizens living abroad and bring our culture to them. Last year, 12 million was budgeted, but less than a million was spent. We are talking about expenses related to travelling, such as tickets or transport costs. The artists were not paid royalties, as they are our employees,” assured the acting head of the Culture Department Alina Tabacari.
Last year, the Mayor’s Office organized “Chisinau Days” in Milan, Barcelona, Vienna, as well as in several Romanian cities. Local artists performed at the events and Mayor Ion Ceban attended the events.