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Barroso: EU Will Scrap Visas If Moldova Fights Corruption

European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso speaks to parliament in Chisinau on November 30.
European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso says that the European Union will scrap visas for Moldova if the government makes progress against widespread corruption, improves democratic standards, and reforms its justice system.

Barroso made the statement in a speech before parliament in Moldova's capital, Chisinau, on November 30.

His comments are regarded as a boost to the pro-European government that has been in power since 2009 after taking over from the pro-Moscow Communists.

Prime Minister Vlad Filat said that Moldova's "European option is irreversible."

Moldova is arguably Europe's poorest country, with an official per capita income of $3,400.

Out of a population of some 4.5 million, several hundred thousand Moldovans work abroad in EU countries.

The economy relies heavily on remittances from those workers.

Based on reporting by AP and