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Stocksak: New Moldova anti-government protest: Thousands

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© Stocksak. Police officers blockade a street during an antigovernment protest in Chisinau (Moldova), October 23, 2022. REUTERS/Vladislav Culiomza

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By Alexander Tanas

CHISINAU, Stocksak – Several thousand protesters decrying Moldova’s pro-Western leaders marched through the capital of the ex-Soviet country for the sixth consecutive Sunday. They set up a tent camp just days after clearing a similar encampment.

Around 7,000 protestors decried the steep price rises, especially for gas purchased from Russia. They demanded the resignation of President Maia Sandu’s government.

The protests were organized in part by Ilan Shor, an exiled politician and opposition politician.

Sandu and her government are supported by a large majority of parliamentary members and appear to be in little danger for the moment in what is one Europe’s most poorest countries, wedged between Ukraine & Romania, European Union member.

Although demonstrators gathered in four columns on Chisinau’s central square, police kept them far from the president’s residence and the parliament.

Three smaller parties, including the Communists of Moldova, joined the protest for the first-ever time. Five days after police evacuated a larger camp in front of parliament, activists set up an encampment with several dozen tents.

Shor was convicted of fraud in connection to a $1B bank scandal. He appealed to protesters via Skype from Israel to press ahead for early elections to “ensure that people come to power capable to make life easier for Moldovagaz”.

This was in reference to Moldova’s difficulties with securing and paying gas from Gazprom (MCX). The government complained last week about the Russian giant’s refusal to give a volume of supplies for next month.

Gazprom has already reduced October supplies by 30 percent and insists that Moldova settle outstanding debentures totalling $709million.

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