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Moldova's Breakaway Region Feeling The Pain Of Global Crisis

TIRASPOL, Moldova -- Several industrial facilities in Moldova's breakaway Transdniester region have had to suspend their operations and are asking employees to take mandatory vacations.

Sergei Melnichenko, a reporter for the government-run weekly "Dneistrovskaya Pravda," told RFE/RL's Moldovan Service that the global economic crisis has decreased demand in Russia and Western Europe for goods produced in Transdniester, resulting in factory layoffs.

Two of Transdniester's top companies, the steel mill and cement factory in Rabnita, announced curbs in production this week.

More recently Electromas and Avtopoliv, the Tiraspol-based tool and machine firms, have each asked 100 workers to take leave for at least one month.

Most of Moldova's major industries are concentrated in the Transdniester region, which has a de facto independent status as the result of a short separatist war in 1992.