Statements by Moldovan and Romanian Prime Ministers at Visa-Free Across Prut Event

Prime Minister Iurie Leanca delivered the following speech:

“We are in an absolutely special period for our country. Starting from 28 April, an important goal has become reality. Moldovans do not need visas to travel to Europe. It is a great achievement for all. It was possible due to a historical decision taken by our colleagues from the EU. We have become much freer, we managed to demolish a wall that was not visible, but which we felt when we wanted to communicate with our friends, partners, brothers beyond the Prut river. It is a great achievement of Moldovan society. Surely, this achievement was possible due to a great cooperation with our European partners and friends, especially, with our friends from Romania.

Yesterday, I was in Athens, capital of Greece, country which holds the EU presidency. I was along with young people, students, pupils and Moldovans, who did not see their relatives residing in Greece three, four, five, seven years. I witnessed this special event that allowed us to see what this visa-free regime means. It is an event that allows us to overcome the pain experienced by thousands, tens of thousands of families from Moldova, being separated from this visa regime.

I watched these young people who, for the first time, saw an EU country and could see a part of world civilization. I saw exactly what another standard of life means.

Yesterday was very important day and I am sure that it will fit into Moldova’s independence history. The today’s visit by Romanian Prime Minister Victor Ponta is also a very important day for our relationship with Bucharest, a relation meant to bring many benefits for Moldovans.

I would like to thank our friends from Romania, Mr. Ponta, who made possible that during one year, to achieve so many things. I would like to thank him for the Romanian government’s decision to assist us with 20 million euros for reconstruction of Moldovan kindergartens. The Sculeni-based kindergarten will benefit from about 600,000 lei for having better conditions there.

On 27 August 2013, together with Ponta we launched the Iasi-Ungheni gas pipeline. I believe that on 27 August 2014, the gas from Romania will cross the Prut river. Also, the residents of Ungheni district, including those from Sculeni, will benefit from gas from Romania at much better rates.

I agreed with Ponta to rebuild more bridges that were over the years across the Prut river, but destroyed. It was our fate. A bridge, another one will be here, in Ungheni. So that the communication should be facilitated, this will contribute to creating much better interpersonal relationships.

I would like to thank Mr. Ponta for the decision he took, allowing mayoralties, county councils from Romania to provide assistance to Moldovan mayoralties and district councils. On this day, I would like to thank Romanian President Traian Basescu and government members, Romanian MPs for this joint effort that allowed us to get here.

Together with Ponta, we managed to identify an extremely important goal – that in 2019, when Romania will hold the EU presidency, we should do our best for Moldova to become a full EU country. It is a goal that will motivate us, commit in concrete actions streamlined to focus on what matters to our citizen from Moldova: on justice reform, prosecution, fight against corruption, improvement of living conditions, higher wages and decent pensions. We will succeed, I am sure, as we have such friends.

I would like to thank my colleagues from the former and current government, those who worked day and night so that these events become possible. Congratulations to all. “

Romanian Prime Minister, Victor Ponta:

“Good afternooon, it is good to see you! I just want to thank you for your welcome and superb weather. It was not as nice in Bucharest as here. I just want to say one thing – 12 years ago, the youngest people present here were not born yet, and Romanians were able to travel to Europe without visas.

Back then, we were as happy as you are today, but we did not know how much it would change our lives. What it means for young people to be able to visit France, Italy, France … What it means for young people to be able to go study at a high school, college, to continue their studies in Europe. I did not understand back then what it meant in economic terms that we can, as members of Europe, have jobs, have better salaries and pensions; have better roads, have a secure future for our families and for ourselves in the following years.

I think today is a historic moment. It is just another step of Moldova towards Europe. And I want to tell you to trust that all your future steps, they are not especially important for the present generations as they are for the future generation, young people who know less what Europe represents and how much good it represents.

I want to tell you, on behalf of those on the other side of the Prut, that we took the right decision when we thought that we should not be alone, we should be together with the other European partners. I want the parents of today’s children to be convinced that they are doing the right thing, supporting Moldova on its European path. I want nothing more than for that which today we can cross without a visa, only with a passport, to become only a border by 2019, to be merely a part of Europe, a Europe in which both you and your children, parents and families, loved ones know that they can live in safety, they can receive salaries, pensions, better schools and hospitals, a future and a hope for them and for those who will follow them.

I just want to congratulate you once again. Let me tell you that it is the duty of the Bucharest-based government to support you without any condition or concealed intention, only with the idea of doing good things for those who live on both sides of the Prut River. I can tell you that we will always be with you and that if God wants so, go further down this great road.

I congratulate Prime Minister Iurie Leanca, all those who made this event possible, here in Moldova. Know one thing – when you are not alone, it is always easier to fight; when you are alone it is harder and hope vanishes. I want to tell you that you are not alone. That you have us by your side – those from Romania, those from the European Union, and that together we will easier overcome the difficult things.

I want to congratulate you for all you have done and may God let us meet during good times, no borders, no barbed wire, no controls and without all the things that young people will soon forget and believe that they have never existed.

I am very proud that we, together with Prime Minister Iurie Leanca, can be present at this historic moment. I want future generations to never have borders or visas; nothing to separate them from Romania and Europe.

Thank you”.


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