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Moldova: New Prime Minister Pledges Economic Rebirth

Chisinau, 19 April 2001 (RFE/RL) -- Moldova's newly appointed premier, Vasile Tarlev, today unveiled his government's economic program. He said his priorities will be the revival of the manufacturing and agricultural sectors. Earlier today, the communist-dominated parliament appointed Tarlev, a 37-year old former confectionery plant director, as the country's new prime minister, by 75 votes in the 101-member parliament.

Communists control 71 seats in the parliament following a landslide victory in general elections in February. Communist President Vladimir Voronin has said the state will play a more active role in regulating the economy, which has shrunk by two-thirds since independence in 1991.

Moldova is one of Europe's poorest countries, with 80 percent of its more than 4 million people living on the equivalent of less than one dollar a day.