A group of experts, civic activists, call on the authorities to institute a moratorium on the privatization of state-owned enterprises at least until the next parliamentary elections. According to them, the call is made in connection with the initiative to private the state-owned enterprise “Metalferos” and with the fraudulent and non-transparent concession, privatization and management of state property during the last few decades. The activists said such initiatives as the one to privatize “Metalferos”, under the current composition of the Government and Parliament, are aimed at unjustly enriching politicians and at prejudicing the interests of the state and the citizens.
In a news conference at IPN, public policy expert Ștefan Gligor said that Igor Dodon’s initiative to denationalize an enterprise that is strategic for the national economy, “Metalferos”, is designed to cover the previous frauds and to transform the state monopoly into a private one. “This enterprise during decades served as a source of legal income for corrupt politicians, oligarchs. It can be privatized only after carrying out an independent, international audit by objectively assessing the enterprise’s assets and holding accountable the persons to blame for misappropriation from it,” stated Ștefan Gligor.
Political analyst Victor Ciobanu said one of the goals of this sudden privatization is to hide the frauds committed at “Metalferos”. “This way, Dodon is trying to cover these frauds because, as the press reported, a relative of his has served as the enterprise’s financial director since 2007,” stated Victor Ciobanu, making reference to reports and investigations and noting that the frauds allegedly amount to about 700 million lei.
Political commentator Alexei Tulbure said there are many standard cases of privatization. Regrettably, none of these led to development in Moldova. But the main idea is to convert public property into private property so that this develops, obtains investment and, as a result, the state budget revenues increase and the living standards of the people improve.
Expert Sergiu Tofilat said the state property should be managed in the interests of the people, not of a group of politicians with serious integrity-related problems. A number of privatization procedures were illegal, like the denationalization of the Codru Hotel Complex, concession of the Chisinau International Airport. “An audit should be first of all carried out to determine the value of the frauds committed at these enterprises,” he stated.
“To make it clear, we are not against privatization. On the contrary, the facilities that belong to the state, but are inefficient and the state does not know how to manage them should be denationalized, but only as a result of a financial analysis, a complex audit. The privatization procedures should be transparent and in favor of the Moldovan citizens. There is no study that would show the opportunity of all the performed privatization operations, namely the financial opportunity – how much money the state gained,” said former MP Stella Jantuan.
Expert Tudor Șoitu addressed the prosecutor general, saying the presented cases are substantiated. Under the Penal Code, these are organized crimes committed against the state by persons holding public posts and they do not have statutes of limitations.