Protest of SMEs: “Fight pandemic, not jobs”

A number of owners and employees of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) on March 5 protested in central Chisinau to show their dissatisfaction with the National Extraordinary Public Health Commission’s decision by which they were banned from working on the weekend. They consider the decision is discriminatory as other retail units are allowed to work. They chanted: “Fight the pandemic, not the jobs!”, “We want equity, not discrimination!”. The protest started in front of the Government Building and then the protesters walked to the Presidential Palace, IPN reports.

One of protesters’ leaders said that after a hard summer during which they were banned from working, they were pushed closer to bankruptcy. They didn’t get assistance from the state. They lent money and overcame the crisis. But this winter the SMEs were again turned into “scapegoats”. If they continue this way, the employees of SMEs will lose their jobs.  

From the Government Building, the protesters went to the Presidential Palace where they read a letter addressed to Maia Sandu. According to them, in its February 15 decision, the National Extraordinary Public Health Commission stipulated that the shopping centers and, implicitly, the enterprises that rent commercial areas in shopping centers, cannot work on Saturday and Sunday. Those who sell in shopping centers are mainly SMEs, including national producers. The protesters asked Maia Sandu to intervene so that this ban is lifted.

Secretary general of the presidential administration Andrei Spînu went out to the protesters and took the letter. He said protesters’ demands will be analyzed, noting the SMEs’ protest is justified as many of the actions that should have been taken last year to save jobs and offer real assistance to the SMEs weren’t taken. As a result, many of the SMEs reached an impasse.

The National Extraordinary Public Health Commission on February 15 decided that the shopping centers will not work on the weekend as from February 17 given the unfavorable epidemiological situation.

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