Bogdan Țîrdea, deputy of the Party of Socialists, often makes inaccurate statements in the public space, in the Parliament, in his TV shows or in his articles. He voices biased opinions in favor of the socialists. There is a mismatch between his declarations of assets and his earned income.
Țîrdea lives together with his family in a house that has a market price of around 150,000 euros (3 million lei). He bought it in 2017. The house was not finished yet and indicated in his declaration of assets that it had an official price of 32,000 euros (597,000 lei). In the last eight years, the political scientist who became a deputy indicated a cumulative official income of around 95,000 euros (1.88 million).
During the same period, in addition to the house, the deputy’s family also acquired two cars. One was bought in 2013 for 23,500 euros, and the other belongs to his in-laws according to the deputy. However, he has been using it for three years, based on a power of attorney and its cost at the time of acquisition was 22,000 euros.
ZdG found Țîrdea’s address based on some photos that he posted on social networks. In early April 2020, the Socialist Party deputy published two photos from the house courtyard. In one of them, the house appears in front of a fir tree in the garden, and in the other, it is next to a sports device. Both pictures published by Țîrdea on Facebook were deleted in a few days, but they remained on another network – ok.ru. Because the deputy indicates in his declarations of assets and personal interests that he owns two-thirds of a house which costs around 32,000 euros (597,000 lei). ZdG decided to see what the building looks like and to check if the information in the declarations corresponds to reality.
The Deputy’s House
The Țîrdea family bought a house in the town of Codru, Chișinău municipality in 2017. It is a two-story building and is located on an area of six acres. According to the cadastral information, the building has an official area of 92 square meters. According to the deputy’s declaration of assets, its cadastral value is around 30,000 euros (597,000 lei). However, the market price of such an estate is about five times higher. A house of similar dimensions, with inside works unfinished, located a few meters from the house of the Țîrdea family, is presently sold for 135,000 euros.
A share of two-thirds of the building is officially registered in the name of the politician’s wife, Vladilena Țîrdea, and one-third is registered in the name of Larisa Serbianu, her mother and the politician’s mother-in-law, who is an accountant.
In April 2020, a ban was imposed on the building by a bailiff, without specifying the reasons. Liliana Parfentiev, the bailiff who seized the real estate of the Țîrdea family, specified that the law on personal data does not allow her to provide us with information about the reason for the seizure of the deputy’s house. However, she stated that the ban was not applied on behalf of the deputy.
Mihail Serbianu, Țîrdea’s father-in-law, is a doctor by profession. He works in Ungheni district, the central part of Moldova, and in the past, he was involved in politics, but with different visions from those of his son-in-law. Serbianu was a member of the Our Moldova Alliance, a party declared pro-European.
In July 2019, President Igor Dodon decorated Mihail Serbianu with the order Gloria Muncii “for long and prodigious work in the field of healthcare, contribution to improving the healing and prophylactic process and high professionalism.” Initially, in June 2019, a decree of the president nominated Mihail Serbianu to be decorated with the medal Nicolae Testemitanu. On July 26, by an additional decree, the head of state amended his previous decree, and Mihail Serbianu received the order Gloria Muncii.
Țîrdea Submitted the First Declaration of Assets and Personal Interests in 2009
Although deputy Țîrdea lives in a big house, and he and his wife drive cars that cost over 20,000 euros each, the politician indicated rather modest financial sources in the declarations of assets and personal interests submitted in recent years.
Țîrdea’s first declaration dates from February 2009, the year when he ran for the Parliament of Moldova on the lists of the Social Democratic Party, led at the time by Dumitru Braghiş. He was a political scientist and university lecturer then and ran for the 30th position on the party list. In the declaration submitted to the Central Electoral Commission for the years 2007-2008, the current Socialist deputy indicated cumulated revenues amounting to 3,000 euros (50 000 lei), the equivalent of 125 euros (2,000 lei) per month. Twelve years ago, Țîrdea had no car, no apartment nor money in bank accounts according to that declaration.
In October 2014, when he ran for a seat in Parliament on the lists of the Socialist Party, Țîrdea submitted to the Electoral Commission a new declaration of assets. This time, for the period January 2012 – December 2013, the political scientist declares quite a modest income, 1,200 euros (20,000 lei) from the main job of university lecturer at the State Pedagogical University Ion Creangă, and another 600 euros (10,000 lei) from training and royalties/book sales. In total, Țîrdea indicated official incomes amounting to around 1,800 euros (30,000 lei) in 24 months, respectively – 80 euros (1,250 lei) per month.
In the declaration for the years 2012-2013, contrary to the one from 2009, Țîrdea indicated that he was already the owner of two apartments in Chișinău, 67 and 77 square meters each. In addition, he declared two cars, a Toyota RAV 4 manufactured in 2013, and a Mazda 3, from 2007. Following the 2014 parliamentary elections, Țîrdea got into Parliament. For the next six years, he constantly submitted declarations of assets and personal interests.
The Year Țîrdea Became Deputy He Had an Income of Around 3,000 Euros
Țîrdea submitted his first declaration of assets as a deputy in December 2014. He stated that in January 2013 – November 2014, he had official incomes of over 300 euros (6,300 lei) from lectures and lessons at Creangă University and another 580 euros (11,000 lei) from the children’s pension and allowance. He did not declare any money held in bank accounts.
In another declaration, submitted only for 2014, the deputy Țîrdea indicated other data. He already reported over 1,400 euros (26,700 lei) from lectures and lessons at Creangă University, 40 euros (740 lei) from the seminars at an unknown College, 280 euros (5,377 lei) from scientific papers, 500 euros (10,000 lei) from the sale of the Mazda 3, and 580 euros (11,000 lei) from the children’s pension and allowance. Even after the rectifications in the new declaration for 2014, the cumulative income of the Țîrdea family was around 3,000 euros (54,000 lei), the equivalent of 240 euros (4,500 lei) per month.
In 2015, Țîrdea indicated official incomes of over 5,300 euros (100,000 lei) for the first time. From the same declaration for 2014, we find out that Țîrdea purchased a new car, Toyota RAV 4, for 23,500 euros, in 2013. The price of the car exceeded almost 20 times the official income declared by Țîrdea for the years 2012-2013.
The same document signed by Țîrdea indicated that the deputy purchased an apartment of 67 square meters for 20,000 euros (378,000 lei), in 2014 the year in which the deputy reported official incomes of 54 000 lei.
He also declared the 77 square meter apartment, purchased in 2011 for 21,000 euros (398,000 lei). At the end of 2014, Țîrdea mentioned that he kept in bank accounts approximately 200 euros (5,000 lei).
In 2015, Țîrdea declared official annual incomes of over 4,900 euros (100,000 lei). He declared his salary income as deputy amounting to around 9,700 euros (198,000 lei), around 2,000 euros (39,000 lei) from Creangă University, around 400 euros (8,000 lei) from scientific and didactic works and around 300 euros (7,000 lei) as child allocations. For the first time, Țîrdea reported his wife’s income, obtained within the Personal Assistance Social Service. In total, in 2015, the Țîrdea family reported an official income of approximately 12,500 euros (255,000 lei), or over 1,000 euros (21 000 lei) per month.
When His Family Bought the House, Their Official Income Was Over 31,700 Euros
In the declaration of assets for 2016, the Țîrdea family indicated official incomes of over 12,200 euros (263,000 lei). The largest amount – over 9,600 euros (207,000 lei) came from Țîrdea’s activity in the Parliament. In his declaration, the deputy indicated another car, for the first time.
In addition to Toyota RAV 4, Țîrdea specified that he owned a Mazda CX5, manufactured in 2014 and purchased in 2016 for 22,000 euros, which he drove based on a power of attorney since the beginning of 2017.
In 2017, the income declared by the Țîrdea family amounted to approximately 31,700 euros (681,000 lei). Over 10,000 euros (220,000 lei) came from Țîrdea’s activity as deputy, and about 20,000 euros (398,500 lei) was from the sale of a 70 square meter apartment located on Grenoble Street in downtown Chișinău. According to the sale-purchase contract, the price indicated in the declaration is twice as low as the market price of such an apartment. The very day when the Țîrdea family sold the 70 square meter apartment, they bought the house in which they live today.
In 2018 and 2019, the Țîrdea family did not make any purchases, the deputy constantly declaring the 67 square meter apartment, the house, and the two cars: Toyota RAV 4 and Mazda CX5. In 2018, the Țîrdea family declared official incomes of 12,500 euros (270,000 lei), and in 2019 – over 15,500 euros (335,000 lei), mostly from being a deputy.
The Deputy Makes Donations to Political Parties Even with a Modest Income
Țîrdea is founder or member of five NGOs (Îngerașul Public Association, the Izborsk Club, the Social Democratic Institute, the Institute of National Strategy, the Institute of Moldova Modernization). He never reported income from them.
Every year, he indicated in the declarations of assets and personal interests modest annual incomes. Starting with 2014, he kept donating money to the party he officially represents or to his exponents.
In 2015, Țîrdea reported official revenues of over 12,700 euros (255.900 lei). In the same year, he donated over 2,000 euros (42,600 lei) for the Socialist Party and Dodon’s election campaign, then candidate for Presidency. In 2018, Țîrdea also donated over 1,200 euros (24,000 lei) for Ion Ceban, the Socialist Party representative running for Chișinău City Hall mayor position.
In 2015, the National Integrity Authority verified deputy Țîrdea’s declaration of assets and personal interests for 2014, after the institution found that “in 2014, he purchased an apartment whose value exceeds the income of the same period, fact which would generate a possible obvious difference between the obtained income and the property acquired during the declaration period.”
The verification results were made public in April 2016, stating that no violations were found. Țîrdea justified the 2014 purchase of the apartment, saying he got the financial resources from selling two more apartments in 2011. However, ZdG found that at least one of the apartments referred to by Țîrdea in the National Integrity Authority document belonged to his in-laws, who sold it.
The CV of the Political Scientist Who Became a Politician
Țîrdea comes from Semipalatinsk, Kazakhstan. According to his CV, he studied History and History of Culture at Ion Creangă State Pedagogical University in Chișinău and Communication and Public Relations at the National School of Political and Administrative Sciences in Bucharest. From 1998 until now, Țîrdea is a senior lecturer at Creangă University. In 2011, he created a blog on which he publishes analyses and political comments. According to the same CV, Țîrdea collaborated with several newspapers and institutions that published his political comments: ava.md, Socius, Mosкоvschii Коmsоmоlеts or Аrgumenti i facti. Țîrdea indicates in his CV that he was a political consultant in the electoral campaigns of 2007, 2009, 2011 and 2014, without specifying to which parties or institutions he provided political consultancy services.
Țîrdea didn’t give up on the blog even after he became a deputy. In the analyses on the blog, Țîrdea constantly criticized the former democratic leader Vladimir Plahotniuc, calling him a puppet, and the former pro-European governing alliances, which governed Moldova since 2009. However, his criticisms were not as sharp regarding the Liberal Democratic Party and its former leader Vladimir Filat. In 2012-2014, Țîrdea was constantly invited to Jurnal TV, a television financed at that time by Victor Țopa. In September 2014, two months before the parliamentary elections, Țîrdea announced that he joined the Socialist Party.
Deputy and Author of a TV Show on a Channel affiliated to the Socialist Party
Since 2016, Țîrdea is the author and presenter of a TV show on NTV Moldova, a TV channel affiliated to the Socialists. The show entitled Na Samom Dele is broadcast once a week in Russian. Țîrdea regularly praises the Socialist Party in the show and criticizes the political opponents of Socialist Party and Dodon. In his show, Țîrdea brings up the pro-Russian and anti-European rhetoric of the Socialist Party, sometimes stating half-truths or manipulative information. He declared that he has no income from working as a presenter. Thus there is no issue of conflict of interest.
Previously, The press and mediacritica.md (a portal managed by the Center for Independent Journalism) reported that Țîrdea often participated in the spread of false information that disadvantaged the Socialist Party competitors and Dodon.
“The propaganda of the conspiracy theory is also found in the Na Samom Dele TV show hosted by the Socialist Party deputy Țîrdea, on NTV Moldova… Trying to present reality in categorical terms and to surprise the public by sensational stories, Țîrdea manipulates by distorting truths,” mediacritica.md stated in November 2016.
“We are modest people. We have to work everyday, for a loaf of bread and to gather for a holiday in Zatoka”
July 2019, a reporter from Pro TV Chișinău asked Țîrdea where he will spend his vacation. Țîrdea said he has no vacation plans. “The oligarchs, the boyars and the journalists have plans. We are modest people. We have to work everyday for a loaf of bread and to gather for a vacation somewhere here, in Zatoka, Ukraine. God, help!” Declared the deputy. However, in less than a month, Țîrdea published photos while resting on the shores of the Aegean Sea, in the Dalyan region, Turkey.
The Deputy’s Political Initiatives in the Parliament
According to the information displayed on the Parliament’s page, Țîrdea has not proposed any bill independently in more than five years since he became deputy. Țîrdea signed 43 projects as co-author. From the 43 projects, six passed including two non-confidence votes against the governments led by Maia Sandu and Valeriu Streleț. Țîrdea contributed to other projects that amended the Electoral Code and the Law on the status of the deputy, the Law on entrepreneurial patent, the Law on commemorative days, holidays and public holidays, and the Law on Physical Culture and Sports. In 2019, Țîrdea came up with one legislative initiative, when a group of Socialist deputies proposed the dismissal of the Sandu Government. In 2020, the Socialist deputy proposed laws and became co-signer of a project to complete an article of the State Budget Law for 2020.
Asked by ZdG, deputy Țîrdea states that he completed the declarations of assets and interests according to the legislation in force. Țîrdea was outraged because we’ve checked his assets. He warned us that he would come with a proper reaction.
About the house: “I had two apartments and two cars when I bought this house. I sold a 77 square meters apartment in downtown Chișinău and mentioned it in the declaration of assets, then I sold the Mazda 3 car for 500 euros and also mentioned in the declaration of assets. The house has 90 square meters. I took the house together with my wife. Me and my wife own two-thirds of the house. I also gathered some money. The house was unfinished. I can show you the pictures. I renovated it in three years. It was gray on top, and had no terrace, nothing. It was earth. Why don’t you take the house as it was then? As much as I indicated, that’s all I paid for it. I made repairs with relatives and friends. Even now it is not finished,” Țîrdea pointed out.
The deputy specified that he indicated in his declaration of assets and interests the cadastral value of the house, not the market value. ZdG asked the deputy if the house really has 92 square meters.
“The house has 90 square meters. Are we using official or unofficial data? We operate with official data. The cadastral price, the official size and the official size of the apartment,” stated Țîrdea, referring to the declaration of assets and interests for 2017 in which he indicated that he sold an apartment of 77 square meters downtown Chișinău with over 20,400 euros (398,000 lei).
“Any price is the product of supply and demand. Any price is the value of a compromise between buyer and seller. How much I got along with a certain seller and how much I got along with a certain buyer, correct? It’s my personal problem. I indicated according to the legislation, according to my income, I indicated everything I have,” the deputy claims. He also stated that his in-laws own one-third of the house, although they do not live in it, but come to visit. The deputy acknowledged that the Mazda CX5 car, bought for 22,000 in 2016, belongs de jure to his in-laws.
About money: Deputy Țîrdea commented on the modest financial sources from the declarations of assets. He claimed that he had income before reaching the Parliament. “I did thousands of seminars, wrote articles, did trainings. By the time I became deputy, this income was already enough for me to have a standard of living as the average for the country and the majority of citizens,” says Țîrdea. Asked why in the statements he indicated that he received for trainings, seminars and the sale of books amounts that vary between 300 and 500 euros (7,000-10,000 lei).
Țîrdea pointed out: “You know, since then so much time has passed. I can’t remember how long it was, how it was and why it was … I can’t memorize… I was reminded by the Soros Foundation that I received 100 dollars in 1998. I can’t memorize this. But in order to disregard these things, I want to remind you that my wife inherited an apartment, and I also had an apartment that I inherited.”
About the collaboration with NIT: Țîrdea claims that he never received money from his activity as a political analyst. “If I had taken it, it should have appeared in the declaration of assets.” At the same time, he claims that he was not remunerated by the Communist Party, which he previously praised on the NIT television station.
“You can believe me or not, but in 2009, in 2011, I stayed every day at NIT from morning to evening and defended the Communist Party position that I criticized in 2005-2009 for oligarchization. In 2009-2011, I defended the Communists because it seemed to me that they had reformed that’s what it seemed to me then. I want to tell you that for all those years I worked and wrote thousands of articles, I had thousands of outings, but they didn’t give me a lei and they didn’t even say thank you.”
Țîrdea admitted that he was siding with the former Prime Minister and former leader of the Liberal Democratic Party, Vlad Filat. “In 2012-2013, there was a period when I was siding with the Liberal Democratic Party-Communist Party alliance. In my vision, they were the only one able to bring down Plahotniuc. I endured Filat until 2014, when I understood that he is already under control or, at least, he is afraid of a direct fight with Plahotniuc. That’s when I turned to the Socialist Party. Since December 2013, we have seen that it is a growing force and it is not tainted by these connections with Plahotniuc, with the billion theft, with Banca de Economii,” Țîrdea justifies his subsequent collaboration with the Socialist Party.
Țîrdea Warns ZdG that He Will Read Carefully the Investigation
In the end, the deputy warned us that he will read carefully what we will write about him and will come with a proper reaction.
B. Ț .: “I will read very carefully and I promise you a suitable reaction. But do you know why? If Ţîrdea was able to write Oligarchic Moldova of 860 pages, with all Plahotniuc and Iaralov’s schemes etc., when there were no declarations of assets. Believe me, I will describe what you do and what revenues you have. For me, it’s not a problem. Especially since you don’t declare them.
ZdG: But is this a threat?
B. Ț .: I ask you this: before you ask me about the price of things I bought long time ago, you should ask yourself if you’re completing the declaration of assets, if you’re transparent, open, from where you get the money, what you spend it on, what houses or cars you have. Then write about me. It’s not a threat. I promise you a balanced mirror reaction.
ZdG: Based on documents, not information that you…
B. Ț .: O-ho-hoo! Guys, with us, everything is on documents. Remember that. I know very well what money you receive. I know very well how many hundreds of thousands of euros you receive from whom.
ZdG: Please prove but with documents.
B. Ț .: If you’re really asking for it, I will prove it to you. But I don’t need that now. I am now fighting with Candu, Plahotniuc, the mafia, but not with those who serve the mafia.
ZdG: Does ZdG serve the mafia?
B. Ț .: You received the order now to attack me, because I’ve attacked Shor, Plahotniuc and Candu, yes? Should I understand the situation like this?
ZdG: If you read ZdG…
B. Ț .: You don’t write about Shor, or Candu, you forgot about Plahotniuc and you started with me…
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