The real number of people living in Moldova’s communes is not known. The census for which the people paid 80 million lei three years ago failed. The Government is unable to publish its data. The authors of an article on sic.md decided to find out how depopulated the villages are in reality, IPN reports.
The article authors say the dimensions of rural depopulation became evident in the local elections of 2015. For example, in Otac commune of Rezina district, the mayor was elected by the votes of 174 inhabitants. In Cogalniceni commune of the same district, 167 votes were enough to win the elections. In Marianca de Jos, Stefan Voda, the winner polled 151 votes, in Alava, Stefan Voda – 132 votes, while in Salcia, Taraclia the mayor was elected by 81 votes in the first round of voting. In Salcia, each 15th voter became a local councilor.
The authors of the article tried to find out how much the mayor’s offices cost the Republic of Moldova. “Many communes do not collect enough taxes at least for the salaries of employees of the mayor’s office. The administrative costs per resident can be 3-5 times higher at the mayor’s offices of communes where the number of inhabitants is by 1,500 lower than the average. Thus, in a study published in 2009, the independent think tank “Expert-Grup” determined the administrative costs per resident depending on the number of inhabitants in a commune. In the communes with fewer than 1,500 inhabitants, the administrative costs were 227 lei on average, in communes with 1,500-3,000 residents, these costs were 142 lei, while in those with more than 3,000 people they were lower than 90 lei per resident,” says the article.
According to the authors, the European recommendation is that the mayor’s offices should serve at least 4,500 people, while the average population in administrative units of the first level in the EU is over 5,000. “Meanwhile, we pay a part of our taxes to inefficient mayor’s offices and governments that do not deliver on their promises,” said the authors.
The full article in the Romanian language can be read o sic.md. Sic! is a project implemented by IPN News Agency with support from Soros Foundation Moldova.