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Christmas and its traditions have once again sparked political debate in Moldova.

Chisinau Mayor Dorin Chirtoaca told journalists today that police have confiscated the capital city's Christmas tree while it was being driven to the capital this morning.

The tree was to be installed in front of city hall today. But Moldova's communist government adheres to the officially approved Moldovan Orthodox Church calendar to mark Christmas, which is in early January.

But pro-Western politicians like the Chisinau mayor prefer earlier Christmas celebrations, in line with neighboring Romania and other European countries.

Last year the Moldovan government removed the city's Christmas tree right after it was raised in front of the city hall.

-- RFE/RL's Moldovan Service

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