The Head of the EU Delegation to Moldova Peter Michalko assured that the second tranche of €30 million of the macro-financial assistance provided by the European Union will reach Moldova in several days. He warned that the current crisis is not an excuse for the changes that should take place. “Those who will not do reforms, including the important reform in the justice sector, will be unable to offer the citizens an opportunity after the crisis caused by the coronavirus pandemic is overcome,” the official stated in an interview for RFE/RL’s Moldovan Service.
“I think the money will come in several days, namely when the technical procedure is over. This is money intended for the state budget. It is the second tranche of the macro-financial assistance of the program signed in 2017. Regrettably, the second tranche of this assistance could be paid only now,” said Peter Michalko, noting the third tranche could not be offered already.
The ambassador stated the EU offered also a new program and the intention is to agree and sign it very swiftly as it offers support to Moldova also through macro-financial assistance during the COVID-19 pandemic. It is a rather important package with projects that were reoriented – €87 million. This money goes through projects directly to the people. It goes to a package of material-medical assistance that comes for the Republic of Moldova and for other Eastern Partnership countries, and of economic assistance that is structured for six EaP countries separately, of €100 million in support for SMEs and €700 million for a longer period that is also intended for SMEs, and also to bank guarantees for firms so that they could lend in much better conditions.
Asked how the dialogue between Chisinau and Brussels will be further built, Peter Michalko said that a rather structured and intensive dialogue is now held based on the Association Agreement. “Surely, a role here is also played by the way in which the reforms are done, how they are implemented and how they are felt by the people in the Republic of Moldova. And here we speak about the dialogue at the level of the Association Committee, which convened in February here, in Chisinau, but we also continue with others,” stated the ambassador.
As to the pace of reforms amid the pandemic, Peter Michalko said this crisis is not an excuse for stopping the changes that should take place. “Those who will do reforms and make changes will be better prepared to react to what will come after the crisis as there will be stiff competition for investments and whole sectors of the economy will have to be reoriented. I think those who will be prepared here will be those who will get more money for the people and will be able to ensure the path to prosperity and development. Those who will not react and will not make changes, including such important reforms as the justice sector one, will simply be unable to offer the own citizens such a good opportunity,” stated the EU official.