Germany’s chancellor praises Moldova’s government for recent reforms

Germany’s chancellor praised Moldova’s government for recent reforms Wednesday, saying they fulfil requirements for visa free travel to European Union countries.

Angela Merkel, speaking after meeting Prime Minister Vlad Filat during a visit to the country, said that “the reforms (undertaken) so far are very clear and they fulfil the requirements.”She praised the governing pro-European alliance for the work it had undertaken since it came to power, and urged it to continue its fight against corruption “with firmness” as it moves closer to EU status.

The alliance was formed in 2009 when the coalition’s members defeated the Communists — which sought closer relations with Russia — in an election.

Merkel also called for negotiations to continue over the status of Trans-Dniester, a region in eastern Moldova that broke away in 1990 over fears Moldova planned to reunite with Romania, of which it was part until 1940.

“Germany supports the territorial integrity of Moldova and believes that Trans-Dniester should have a special status within Moldova,” Merkel said, referring to the breakaway republic.

It was the first visit by a German chancellor to the former Soviet republic, an agricultural country of 4.1 million which declared independence in the wake of the breakup of the former Soviet Union in 1991.

Merkel — accompanied by a group of German business people — also met lawmakers, President Nicolae Timofti and members of the private sector.

She was invited to visit the legendary Cricova wine cellars south of Chisinau before flying back to Berlin later Wednesday.

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