New Moldova PM vows to ‘rebuild state’ on visit to Brussels

BRUSSELS (AFP) – Moldova’s new Prime Minister yesterday vowed to rebuild the state after years of “mismanagement, foul play and corruption”, during her first visit to European Union (EU) headquarters in Brussels.

Maia Sandu came to power last month at the head of an unusual coalition of pro-European and pro-Russian forces. Her appointment ended a political crisis that had roiled the impoverished former Soviet republic since February.

After talks with senior EU officials, Sandu pledged to lead Moldova towards Europe, saying she hoped one day the country will “knock confidently on EU’s door” to demand membership.

But she said Moldova’s first task was to “rebuild its democratic institutions and to restore citizens’ trust in the state”.

“Our institutions and people’s trust in them have been badly damaged by mismanagement, foul play, corruption, state-sponsored smuggling and fraud,” she told reporters.

She said the country would embark on a “restart”, pledging independent investigation of past corruption and misrule and a rejuvenation of cooperation with the EU.

“Those responsible for stealing billions of public money from massive corruption and money-laundering will face justice,” she said.

“We will defeat a corrupt system which turned Moldova into a grey zone welcoming to smugglers but inhospitable to its own citizens.”