OPINION POLL: Promises Made. The Billion Not Found. Where is the Stolen Billion Dollars?
Igor Dodon became president of Moldova in 2016, as he promoted convincing election campaign promises. At that time, the recovery of the stolen dollars billion and imprisonment for thieves was the country’s most-discussed topic. Dodon assured the population back in May 2020 to convict the perpetrators of the theft. Meanwhile, the convicts have been released, and Dodon no longer mentions a thing about the stolen billion in his November 1 election program.
Alexandru Slusari, Deputy, Vice-President of the Parliament
Dodon promised to recover the stolen billion and condemn those involved in the theft and repeal the law that put the burden of theft on citizens’ shoulders. However, nothing has changed. The Supreme Security Council has included the theft of the billion frequently in the agenda of meetings. Chief Prosecutors and Heads of Courts lost their seats, but things did not go further. There has been no change made in Shor’s criminal file during these four years- the bank robbery’s main beneficiary. In August 2019, 70 files were brought on several resonance cases, including the stolen billion. There was a lot of speculation about the house arrest of Iurie Leancă (former Prime Minister), investigation of Drăguțan case (former governor of the National Bank of Moldova), and the international search of the oligarch Plahotniuc to bring him to justice. Otherwise, silence. Dodon keeps quiet because he hasn’t ever promised to return the billion.
Veaceslav Negruță, Economic Expert
Dodon didn’t meet his promises to return the stolen billion because many of his accomplices participated in the crime. President Dodon had economic, financial, and other sorts of partnerships with the theft’s authors. In 2016, the former Prime Minister of Moldova, Pavel Filip, approved the law on the transfer of the debts on the urgent loans in domestic government debt, meaning the state has to pay the debt. Dodon cannot repeal the law as promised, as Philip is still his leading governing partner. Thus, the law’s cancellation would have meant recognizing that Filip’s government legalized the fraudulent “theft of the billion,” passing it illegally on the taxpayers’ shoulders up to 2041.
Also, some managers of the three banks involved in the bank frauds of 2014 are good friends of Dodon. Moreover, guided by his vulnerability and current political interests, Dodon admitted only the removal from prosecution of the persons directly or indirectly involved in the theft, without any conviction. All of this is not because Dodon forgot his promises. He chose to manipulate the citizens and take control of this delicate issue.
Diana Crudu, entrepreneur
Igor Dodon relies on the lack of political culture among Moldovans. Unfortunately, ordinary people find it difficult to understand why the president cannot replace the judiciary or other authorities in the state. Anytime he manipulates in the field, they are made solely for his benefit, as in the stolen billion criminal case. During his presidency, he was able to gamble on the most sensitive issues in society.
“Recovering the billion” is an endless soap opera that I think will be shown during the current election campaign. This time, the opera’s main characters will do their best to ensure that their “liberator” is elected president again.
Valentin Krîlov, political commentator
Does anyone think that the billion will be recovered, and the villains will be sent to prison? Dodon has neither wanted nor could solve this problem. The investigation was delayed. The investigators sought all sorts of excuses to waste time and make the case no longer public interest. The stolen billion is no longer an electoral issue for most voters. The citizens are tired of promises.