The Republic of Moldova celebrates Independence Day on Thursday, August 27. The Independence of Moldova was officially recognized on March 2, 1992, when Moldova gained membership of the United Nations. The nation had declared its independence from the Soviet Union on August 27, 1991, and was a co-founder of the post-Soviet Commonwealth of Independent States. Moldova became fully independent from the Soviet Union that December, and joined the United Nations three months later.
The Moldovan economy has strongly recovered from the drought-related contraction in 2012. Following a decline of 0.7 percent in 2012, the economy expanded by 8.9 percent in 2013, led by strong rebound in agriculture and related industries, private consumption and exports. Yet, the political crisis in early 2013 led to policy slippages in the fiscal and financial areas. The political crisis that broke out in early 2013 was resolved with the appointment of a government supported by a pro-European center-right/center coalition in May 2013. Over the longer term, Moldova’s economy remains vulnerable to political uncertainty, weak administrative capacity, vested bureaucratic interests, corruption, higher fuel prices, Russian pressure, and the separatist regime in Moldova’s Transnistria region.
The CIA World Factbook lists widespread crime and underground economic activity among major issues in Moldova. Human trafficking of Moldovan women and children to other parts of Europe is a serious problem.
Emigration is another serious issue for the republic, representing a mass phenomenon in Moldova and having a major impact on the country’s demographics and economy. 600,000 to one million Moldovan citizens (almost 25% of the population) are estimated to be working abroad.
Moldova is most known for its wines, while wine tours represent the hardcore of the national tourism offer. For many years viticulture and winemaking in Moldova were the general occupation of the population.
The country has a well-established wine industry. It has a vineyard area of 147,000 hectares (360,000 acres), of which 102,500 ha (253,000 acres) are used for commercial production. Most of the country’s wine production is made for export. Many families have their own recipes and strands of grape that have been passed down through the generations.
Cricova is one of the largest wine cellars in the world, with 120 km (75 mi) of tunnel-like storage galleries.
Did you know that?
- Moldova is placed the 12th among the top world wine exporters.
- Vine growing and wine making in Moldova counts for almost 5,000 years.
- The Milestii Mici’s wine collection of 1.5 million bottles has been included in the Guinness World Records at the category The Largest Quality Wine Collection in the World.
- Strong Drinks Museum, in Tirnauca village, is the largest building in the world in the shape of a bottle (28m).
- There are 30 monasteries (some of them dating back to 15th century) and wood churches.
- The Cave “Emil Racovita”, in Criva, is the 8th greatest cave on the planet.
- During the Soviet Union period Moldova was the most densely populated republic.
- The second official language of Gagauzia, situated in the south of Moldova, is a dying out language, with only 200000 speakers.
- Congaz is the largest village in Europe.
- In the time of the USSR Soroca became the Gipsy capital of the world.
- Moldova is one of only three national flags that differ on their obverse and reverse sides – the others are Paraguay and Saudi Arabia.
- Out of 152 countries included in the ranking of Internet access speed, Moldova is on the 3rd place.
- Cleopatra Stratan holds the record for the highest paid young artist, the youngest artist to receive an MTV award and the youngest artist to score a #1 hit in a country.
- The oldest oak tree here is 600 years old.
The biggest animal that ever lived on this territory is “Denoterium”, a breed of what is known to be like an elephant. The animal’s skeleton is now preserved in the ethnographic museum and is considered to be the second biggest in Europe.
There are more than 40 parks in Moldova (old arrangements of different tree species, exotic plants and lakes) from which 20 are in good repair.
- The biggest park is Taul Natural Reservation (46 ha), offering quiet and beautiful settings. There are more than 385 of such protected zones, the most interesting places being the caves and the coral formations.