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EU Withholds Loan To Moldova Over Lack Of Justice Reforms

Moldovan Prime Minister Pavel Filip

The European Union says it won’t transfer a final tranche of loans worth 28 million euros ($33 million) to support the reforms of Moldova's justice system, as the authorities have not fulfilled the bloc’s conditions for receiving the money.

"The EU has closely observed the reform process and noted that the Moldovan authorities showed insufficient commitment to reforming the justice sector," the EU delegation to Moldova said in a statement on October 11.

The disbursement of other EU funding, including a 100 million euro ($118 million) micro-financial aid package has also been delayed.

The EU said Moldova needs to respect human rights and the rule of law in order to get the first tranche of the aid package in December.

Last week, Prime Minister Pavel Filip said Moldova would receive no tranches this year.

However, in an e-mail to the Reuters news agency on October 9, Filip said he was confident of meeting all the conditions to get funding next year.

The assistance, which consists of a loan of 60 million euros ($71 million) and a grant of 40 million euros ($47 million), is aimed at helping Moldova meet its short-term financing needs.

Moldova, Europe's poorest country, has had three governments since 2015, after the disappearance of $1 billion from the banking system sent the country into a political and economic crisis.

Based on reporting by Reuters and Interfax