Moldovan president Maia Sandu to donate EUR 30,000 prize received in Timișoara
The president of the Republic of Moldova, Maia Sandu, recently declared that she will donate to charity the EUR 30,000 she received as a prize from Timișoara City Hall.
The statement comes after weeks of internal debates regarding the legality of the head of state receiving a monetary award.
“There is no legality issue. It is not illegal,” said Maia Sandu, according to Unimedia, cited by G4Media.
“It is a prize awarded for European Values. The jury members are respected people, whom I respect, and that is why I accepted this prize. The money has not arrived. When we have clarity on who this donation goes to - because a donation will be made to a charity organization - then we will announce where this money is going, but until then, the money is still in Timișoara,” Sandu added.
According to the president, Moldova’s anti-corruption prosecutor’s office issued a note saying that the law allows for the prize to be accepted. “We are not the first, nor the last. This is not the first prize I have received. There was another prize two years ago, offered by an organization from Norway, and that prize was donated,” she said.
Moldova’s National Anti-Corruption Center (NAC), in response to the presidency's request, clarified that the legal regime of gifts does not apply in the case of awarding/prizing, given that the term ‘prize’ is not found in the list of terms that fall under the notion of ‘gift’.
The “scandal” broke out after an official account of the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs mentioned Timișoara and the prize awarded to Maia Sandu.
President Maia Sandu is the first laureate of the Timișoara Prize for European Values, a prize endowed with EUR 30,000. The head of state received the distinction while she was in Timișoara, at the invitation of mayor Dominic Fritz, on January 12-13, 2024.
“We have not yet transferred this money, but there are already discussions. Russia's attack just proves how well the laureate was chosen,” said the mayor of Timișoara.
(Photo source: Dominic Fritz on Facebook)