Last Wednesday, a new government in the Republic of Moldova was sworn in to the tune of mass protests outside of its Parliament buildings. Opposition figures claimed an attendance of 100,000 people in Grand National Assembly Square in the capital, Chisinau. Demonstrators clashed with police officers and ultimately broke into Parliament in an attempt to stop the swearing-in-ceremony of Pavel Filip of the Democratic Party as Prime Minister. The new government inaugurates another period of the rule of the Liberal Democratic, Liberal, and Democratic Parties, which have governed under the banner of joining the EU for 5 years.

Mass protests are continuing in Moldova, one of the poorest countries in Europe. On 6th September, around 100,000 protesters [in a country 0f 3.5 million] took to the streets of the capital Chișinău [a town of less than 700,000 people]. Workers, civil servants, students, and pensioners have been protesting against the hike in prices and tariffs for utilities, and against corruption and poverty. The protesters, engaged in clashes with the police, are attempting to storm administrative buildings and have already set up a tent camp in the centre of the capital.

The landslide victory of the Communist Party of Moldavia in the recent parliamentary elections has a great significance for all the former republics of the Soviet Union. It is the first time that a 'Communist Party' has managed to take power on the territory of what was the USSR. The high voter turnout makes the success even more impressive. With 71 out of 101 seats in Parliament, the Communist Party can, at least formally, do anything that it wants to: appoint the President of the country, change the constitution, and pass any laws that it wishes. However, the 'Communists', who have come to power in one of the poorest countries in Europe, face serious economic and political problems. It is not an exaggeration to say that this is the moment of truth for Vladimir Voronin and his party.

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