Moldovan protesters call on government to resign | News | DW | 27.09.2015
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Moldovan protesters call on government to resign

Protesters in the ex-Soviet country have called for the government to resign over the disappearance of $1.5 billion from banks. The demonstrations were organized by two pro-Russian parties in the nation's capital.

More than 20,000 protesters on Sunday marched through the streets of the capital Chisinau demanding the resignation of Moldova's pro-European government.

Pro-Russian parties organized the demonstration in a bid to unseat the government led by Prime Minister Valeriu Strelet after it was discovered that over $1.5 billion disappeared from three Moldovan banks prior to 2014's parliamentary elections.

The state-owned Savings Bank, Social Bank and Unibank were placed under the control of the National Bank of Moldova, which covered the losses through state cash reserves, prompting a crisis of confidence among many Moldovans left to foot the bill.

Chanting "down with the thieves," the protesters also called on leaders of a number of state institutions to step down, including the heads of the central bank, attorney general's office and the country's anti-corruption commission.

Police surrounded the buildings of Moldova's institutions, including parliament, in response to the mass demonstrations.

The latest demonstrations come amid a two-week visit by an International Monetary Fund (IMF) delegation, during which the global financial institution said a new loan was unlikely to materialize.

Earlier this month, Moldova's central bank governor resigned in response to previous protests.

The former Soviet nation is considered one of Europe's poorest countries.

ls/gsw (AP, EFE)