Moldova’s President Igor Dodon visited the Platon family from the village of Iordanovca, Basarabeasca district, the south of Moldova on May 13. However, he didn’t wear a mask or gloves, ignoring the epidemiological norms and the medical safety of the seven children and their parents. Before reaching Platon’s family household, Dodon visited some farms in the same district, but also ignoring the epidemiological norms. The Basarabeasca district registered 50 cases of coronavirus and 153 persons are under medical supervision.
Every year on the eve of International Day of Families, Dodon visits families with many children. These visits already became a tradition for Dodon.
This year, Dodon visited a large family, from Basarabeasca, the south of Moldova, handing toys and sweets to the seven children of the family, to celebrate the International Day of Families, but he was doing that without wearing gloves.
Should a president of a state personally bring sweets to the seven children from a family in Basarabeasca and not bring anything to children from large families in other villages? Should a president bring toys to large families and offer nothing to vulnerable families with few children? Should Dodon generally bring sweets to certain children? Isn’t a president supposed to do something for everyone? Is it sweets that the children in the poorest state in Europe really need?
This so-called presidential action seems to violate the rules of hygiene, as well as the principle of equity towards other children. Therefore, we decided to analyze the impact on the situation of families in Moldova.
In December 2016, when Dodon became president 21,992 marriages were registered. After his first presidential year, in 2017, statistics showed only 20,924 marriages and 9,312 divorces. In the same year, the number of newborns dropped from over 40,000 to 36,600. In contrast, the number of migrant families increased.
In 2018, Dodon decided to do something more for Moldovan families, organizing a festival. “Together with my family, I participated in the Family Festival, organized by the From the Heart foundation of the first lady and held under the auspices of Moldova’s President in the Grand National Assembly Square. (…) The Moldovan family must be a traditional nuclear family, which should ensure the spiritual and moral education of the children, as well as their harmonious development.”
At the same time, he promised that each family in which the fourth, fifth, sixth child, and more is born will receive around 200 euros (4,000 lei) from the first lady’s foundation. However, by the end of the year, the result was sad.
In 2018, the negative trend for Moldovan families continued: fewer marriages (20,399 marriages), fewer children (34,000 newborns vs. 36,000 in the previous year), more divorces (10,721 divorces) and more migrant families.
Dodon did not give up. In 2019, he organized a Family March, with priests and flags. Dodon posted the statement from 2018: “The President specified that the Moldovan family must be a traditional nuclear family to ensure children’s spiritual and moral education.” Nonetheless, there were no positive results. The condition of the Moldovan family steadily deteriorated.
This year, Dodon traditionally went with some candies to several disadvantaged families and on International Day of Families (May 15), he posted pictures with his family as he does every year.
With great disappointment, I have to admit that Dodon’s idea of a traditional family in Moldova is highly distorted. According to statistics, the traditional Moldovan family is a single-parent family (more than half of the families divorced in 2018), destroyed by unemployment, migration, alcoholism, violence, sick children, and men who die early. Moreover, the traditional Moldovan family has low incomes, the lowest among European states.
Thus, Dodon’s idea of family with luxury houses, expensive vacations, undeclared income, and obscure foundations is representative of a traditional family only among the oligarchs. If a president wants to strengthen families, he/she has to ensure equal development rights for every child, to provide jobs for every parent, chances of well-being for every citizen, regardless of marital status, religion or sex, because every citizen comes from a family, whose guarantor is the President of Moldova.