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EDGARDO RUGGIERO: "I HAVE BEEN PLEASANTLY SURPRISED BY
BOTH CHISINAU AND ITS PEOPLE"

Basa-Press: Interview with Edgardo Ruggiero, Resident Representative of the
International Monetary Fund in Chisinau


Question: For a few days now you are back to Chisinau in the
position of IMF's Resident Representative. What was your first
impression about Moldova?

Answer: Chisinau is a very green city and Moldovans are likeable
people. I have been pleasantly surprised by both the city and the
people. The level of education is exceptional and it is certainly
an asset that will become very valuable for economic development. I
am enjoying tremendously the cultural life in Chisinau: the opera,
the ballet, the concert halls. I am working very well with
government officials and I find them very cooperative, open, and
technically well prepared. I am very glad I came to Moldova.

Q.: Ex-IMF RR told us that he was leaving Moldova in a more sad
mood than when he came. What is your state of mood now when you're,
to say so, fully installed here in Chisinau?

A.: My mood is currently very good. The previous IMF RR's mood
became more somber towards the end of his assignment, but he was
very enthusiastic at the beginning. Therefore, if we want to make a
fair comparison, you should ask me this question again at the end
of my assignment.

Q.: In terms of similarities, what country can Moldova be compared
with?

A.: I cannot compare Moldova to any other specific county, as each
country is unique. However, I can see that Moldova has inherited
some of the positive and negative legacies of former Soviet Union
countries. Among the positive legacies is the high level of
education and the value people associate to good education. Among
the negative legacies is the fact that some people (fewer in number
as time goes by) still have a preference for controlling the
economy, the private sector, and prices. But this is changing
fast.

Q.: What do you think are the solutions that might have been
efficient for that country, and that can be implemented in
Moldova as well?

A.: I cannot be specific here because each country's solution may
not be relevant to others. However, we know that those countries
that have successfully moved from planned to market economy have
tended to open up to trade and external investment; liberalize
their internal markets; and remove obstacles to private
entrepreneurship. Moldova is in a good geographical position to
follow this route.

Q.: What is the agenda of IMF's RR for the upcoming weeks and maybe
months?

A.: Apart from the normal work that each RR does, I intend to learn
as much as I can about the country by talking openly to as many
people as possible. I expect nothing less in return; that is, I
hope that people will talk to me in a frank and open manner. In
terms of normal work that each RR does, my main function in the
next months (and indeed, throughout my assignment) is to facilitate
the implementation of the government's economic program that is
supported by the Fund through the Poverty Reduction and Growth
Facility.
 

Chisinau-10.09.2002/14:53:02/(BASA-economic)


 EDGARDO RUGGIERO: "AM FOST PLACUT SURPRINS ATAT DE CHISINAU, CAT SI DE OAMENII DE AICI"

Interviu acordat Agentiei BASA-press de catre Edgardo Ruggiero,
Reprezentantul permanent al Fondului Monetar International la Chisinau


Intrebare: De cateva zile ati revenit la Chisinau pentru a exercita
functia de reprezentant permanent al Fondului Monetar International
in R.Moldova. Care este prima D-voastra impresie despre Republica
Moldova?

Raspuns: Chisinau este un oras verde, iar moldovenii sunt oameni
agreabili. Am fost placut surprins atat de oras, cat si de oameni.
Nivelul educatiei este extraordinar, ceea ce reprezinta, desigur, o
bogatie care va deveni valoroasa pentru dezvoltarea economica. Ma
bucur de viata culturala a Chisinaului: opera, baletul, salile de
concert. Lucrez cu succes cu oficialii din Guvern si consider ca ei
sunt dispusi sa colaboreze, sunt deschisi si bine pregatiti din punct
de vedere tehnic. Sunt foarte bucuros sa ma aflu in Moldova.

I: Fostul rezident al FMI a declarat ca a fost mai trist atunci cand
a plecat, decat cand a venit in R.Moldova. Care este dispozitia
D-voastra dupa ce V-ati instalat la Chisinau?

R: Dispozitia mea este foarte buna. Predecesorul meu a devenit mai
trist spre sfarsitul perioadei de exercitare a mandatului, insa el
a fost foarte entuziasmat la inceput. De aceea, daca dorim sa facem o
comparatie corecta, ar trebui sa ma intrebati din nou despre acest
lucru la sfarsitul perioadei de exercitare a mandatului.

I: Cu ce tara, credeti, ca este comparabila Republica Moldova?

R: Nu pot compara Moldova cu o alta tara, pentru ca fiecare tara e
unica. Cu toate acestea, va pot spune ca Moldova a mostenit unele
elemente pozitive si negative ale fostelor republici sovietice.
Printre elementele pozitive sunt nivelul inalt de educatie si
valorile pe care populatia le asociaza la o educatie buna. Printre
cele negative se numara faptul ca unii oameni (care devin tot mai
putini odata cu scurgerea timpului) inca prefera sa controleze
economia, sectorul privat si preturile. Acest lucru, insa, se schimba
repede.

I: Care sunt solutiile ce au fost eficiente in tara respectiva si
care pot fi aplicate in Republica Moldova?

R: Nu pot sa va ofer solutii specifice in acest caz, pentru ca
solutia pentru o tara ar putea sa nu fie relevanta pentru alta
tara. Se stie, insa, ca tarile care au trecut cu succes prin perioada
de tranzitie de la economia planificata la cea de piata au deschis
usile pentru comert si investitii straine, au liberalizat pietele
interne si au eliminat obstacolele in calea antreprenoriatului
privat. Moldova are o pozitie geografica favorabila pentru a urma
aceasta cale.

I: Care este agenda pentru urmatoarea perioada a rezidentului FMI?

R: In afara de lucrul obisnuit care intra in sarcina unui
reprezentant permanent, eu intentionez ca cunosc cat mai multe
lucruri despre tara, comunicand cu un numar cat mai mare de oameni.
Nu astept nimic in schimb si sper ca oamenii vor vorbi cu mine
franc si deschis. Cat despre lucrul unui reprezentant permanent,
functiile mele principale in urmatoarele luni este de a facilita
implementarea programului economic al Guvernului, care este sustinut
de FMI prin intermediul Mecanismului de Reducere a Saraciei si
Cresterii Economice.


Chisinau-10.09.2002/14:10:04/(BASA-economic)