Around $US1 billion dollars has disappeared from banks in Moldova, one of Europe’s poorest countries.
Around 10,000 demonstrators — out of a population of 3.5 million — took to the streets of Moldova this week, calling for a full investigation into a series of loans that almost brought down the country’s economy and forced a bailout from taxpayers, the Independent reports.
Shortly before the Moldovan elections last November, the country’s three biggest banks doled out mysterious loans that between them were worth the equivalent of 15% of the country’s GDP.
The deals went sour and were discovered by Moldova’s central bank earlier this year. The Government was forced to throw £573 million ($US870 million) worth of emergency loans at the lenders to save them from bankruptcy.
Investigators have been sifting through the books since, but believe the cash may never be recovered. Moldovans believe more must be done to hunt down the money.
Citizens are also unhappy that the government, which was elected on a pro-European Union agenda, has failed to move closer to the EU. Its perhaps understandable given that they’re now coping with one of Europe’s worst ever banking crisis.
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