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The Council Of Europe Is To Investigate Human Rights Abuse And Fraud In Moldova

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The decision to visit the land-locked country, wedged between Romania and Ukraine, came after a Moldovan delegation addressed the Council of Europe on Thursday (April 27th 2017) in Strasbourg.

After the meeting Mr Ilian Casu, a Moldovan Municipal Councillor, said: “The Council is keen to help after we presented a most convincing case.

“Moldova is blighted by pervasive, ubiquitous corruption at all levels and in all its institutions.

“Over the last six years the country has gone from being hailed as a ‘success story’ to a ‘captured state’.

“We are captive to Parliamentary vote buying, justice is for sale, and public money is mishandled – or simply stolen.

“And those who stand up to these iniquities are arrested on trumped up charges and thrown into prison.”

Moldova is said to be run by oligarch Vlad Plahotniuc; unelected, but with an iron grip on the country’s banks, justice system and political corruption.

He is the chairman of the ruling Democratic Party, but it’s a thin veil that masks his true influence. He is known as “the puppeteer”.

And, America has labelled him Moldova’s “most feared figure” with a politically “toxic” reputation.

It’s believed that Plahotniuc was behind the disappearance of a €1 billion loan paid into Moldovan banks.

The money “vanished” into off-shore havens, the United States, the EU and the UK.

Judges, politicians and lawyers are alleged to have been involved in helping to shift the vast sum.

But, it’s not just corruption that is preventing Moldova from progressing as a new modern country.

Any opposition to Plahotniuc is supressed swiftly.

Outspoken politician Renato Usatii, the Mayor of Balti – Moldova’s second city – is currently in exile in Russia.

Elena Gritco, a Municipal Councillor, said after the meeting: “If Renato returned he would be thrown into prison, and there is no doubt that he would be murdered.”

“Renato is helping overseas authorities to bring Plahotniuc to justice. He is a brave man who knows the dire consequences of talking.”

Detectives in London believe Mr Usatii can assist them with inquiries into the attempted murder of German Gorbuntsov four years ago at Canary Wharf.

The Russian tycoon was shot six times outside his apartment.

A Moldovan court has issued a warrant for Mr Usatii’s arrest for the assassination attempt.

Many other local politicians are also targeted by the authorities.

Victor Bogatico, the Mayor of Riscani, said: “I have been arrested now on seven made up charges. None of them has stuck. We are the victims of a corrupt state.”

Mr Casu added: “Hopefully the Council of Europe’s visit will expose the tyranny imposed upon the Moldovan people by these corrupt leaders.

“The Council’s fact finding mission is the beginning of our escape from these evil clutches, and Moldova can once again be a success story.”

Europe Welcomes Kazakhstan Redistribution Of Power

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The Alde deputy was responding to a recent nationally televised speech by the country’s President Nursultan Nazarbayev who said political system faces “enormous” challenges and would be changed to a more parliamentary form of governance.

This will involve a “massive” redistribution of power, declared the President of Kazakhstan. Many of the powers he currently enjoys will be handed over to parliament, and the government will emerge out of the party that wins a majority in the legislature. Under the new system, the president will serve as liaison between the various branches of power and will focus on foreign policy, defence and homeland security. He also will have veto power over all the government’s decisions.

The changes, said President Nazarbayev, mean that the role and influence of parliament and government will be “significantly expanded” by the transfer of functions.

Under the changes, the process for passing a parliamentary no confidence in the government will be simplified while “large areas” of economic and social policy, previously under the control of the president, will be devolved to government ministers.

The blueprint outlined by President Nazarbayev foresees the transfer of no less than 40 presidential functions.  The changes, which are the result of a working group set up by the president last year, will require amendments to the current constitution. The plans have now gone to public consultation which lasts until February 26. The overall aim of the sweeping reforms, he said, is to improve the efficiency of the public administration system.

In his address the President of Kazakhstan also unveiled “five top priorities” for what he termed the “third phase” of the country’s modernisation plans.  Future priorities, he noted, should include improving and expanding the business sphere, achieving macroeconomic stability, and increasing the fight against corruption.

He explained that the presidential system had … Read more

Colorectal Cancer: Political Will Saves Lives

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Every year almost 450,000 people are diagnosed with colorectal cancer in Europe while another 215,000 will die from the disease. Most patients are over 50 years of age: signs and symptoms. Many of these people could be saved by early diagnosis, as colorectal cancer is the most treatable of all digestive cancers. Early diagnosis is most effectively achieved through government led screening programmes.

Formal Population Screening Programmes (FPSP) were proposed by the EU Commission in 2011. This involves an invitation to be screened offered to eligible citizens (50-74). Over the years some progress has been made but even a recent report from the Commission urges that more is done to introduce screening programmes and expand compliance.

Absence of political commitment is allowing people to die unnecessarily.

FPSPs is proven to be a very cost effective means of screening and has the added benefit of considerable cost savings for the health system over treatment for later stage disease.

Unfortunately, only eight member states  are carrying out what EuropaColon considers to be satisfactory progress in rolling out… Read more

Science, Technology And Education Essential To Long-Term Vision Of Kazakhstan

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Indeed, top of the agenda in his state of the union address to the nation in January, Kazakhstan President Nursultan Nazarbayev spoke of the importance of investing in science and “the development of new high-tech sectors”.

Such industries, he noted, include everything from mobile and multimedia technology to nano and space technology.

The nation’s focus on science was sharpened in 2011 when the Kazakhstan ministry of science and education passed legislation which recognizes the importance of research and gives it priority.

The following year, in November 2012, the great strides made in recent years in the fields of business, science and technology, was acknowledged when Astana, the capital, was selected to host of the prestige Expo 2017, beating the Belgian city of Liège in the process.

It will be Kazakhstan’s first world’s fair and the first in Central Asia.

The expo’s theme is ‘Future Energy’, and its seeks to create a global debate between countries, NGOs, companies and the public on the crucial question: “How do we ensure safe and sustainable access to energy for all while reducing CO2 emissions?”

Its choice to host such a prestigious event is seen by many as recognition of Kazakhstan’s success in becoming one of the fastest growing economies in the region of Central and Eastern Europe.

A number of recent economic, social and political reforms have contributed to improving the quality of life in Kazakhstan and, importantly, laying the foundation for an education system that aims to keep strides with those of its neighbours in the EU.

In education, many reforms have taken place in recent years to improve the status, quality and structure of schooling… continue reading

Kazakhstan Shows International Influence Does Not Depend On Nuclear Firepower

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That is one of the messages from Kazakh Foreign Minister Erlan Idrissov , who represented the country at the Brussels Conference on Afghanistan.

Amid intense security, Idrissov joined other world leaders to raise the billions of dollars for Afghanistan deemed necessary to keep that war-torn country running until 2020. Fifteen years after the US invasion to oust the Taliban the country remains reliant on international aid and faces a resurgent militant threat.

The Kazakh minister, during his visit to Brussels, noted that the attack this week by the Taliban in Kunduz province showed that Afghanistan has a “long road to achieving peace.”

Idrissov was also in the Belgian capital for this week’s 15th EU-Kazakhstan Co-operation Council, the first since the Enhanced Partnership and Co-operation Agreement between the two sides was signed in December last year.

Amid intense security, Idrissov joined other world leaders to raise the billions of dollars for Afghanistan deemed necessary to keep that war-torn country running until 2020. Fifteen years after the US invasion to oust the Taliban the country remains reliant on international aid and faces a resurgent militant threat.

The Kazakh minister, during his visit to Brussels, noted that the attack this week by the Taliban in Kunduz province showed that Afghanistan has a “long road to achieving peace”. Idrissov was speaking after meeting with Slovak Foreign Minister Miroslav Lajcak, whose country holds the EU’s rotating presidency and who represented the EU at the Cooperation Council.  Lajcak said the EU “recognizes Kazakhstan’s support for Afghanistan and its fight against terrorism and drug trafficking”… continue reading

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