Interview realized by the journalist Constantin Cheianu with Victor Ţopa, businessman, founder and sponsor of the television post Jurnal TV
— Mister Victor Ţopa, six years ago you had to withdraw with your whole family from Moldova and since then you, practically, have not appeared in our public space. Instead, in this period your name has been invoked often in Chişinău and usually in not very positive contexts. Why have you decided to talk now?
— I have never come out on public because I am not a public person, I do not want to be a politician, I do not want to practice politics. What we do in Moldova is from love for Moldova, for our nation. But now, I have seen that there is too much negative information and I wanted to offer some clarifications, explanations, the people to understand what we are doing, how we are doing and so on.
— In fact, what do you do in Germany?
Remaining in Moldova, we would stay there with Moldovan volumes, small volumes, small profits. Now, our rival, our opponent has provoked us to become big.
— How are seen here the realities from the Republic of Moldova?
Moldova is like Nicaragua, like Haiti, it has entered a vicious regime, in comparison with states like the Dominican Republic or others, that have entered the vicious circle. It is a serious problem. I think that Plahotniuc is like a virus. The people, Moldova, has to drink the whole glass of bitter medicine, to drink it all, the immunity to fight against it.
The same was in Germany – Adolf Hitler came in ’33, he ruled till ’45, but the German now do not want to have an authoritarian ruler ever, or the institutions, the power to be concentrated in someone’s hands. The power is dispersed, the institutions function and so on. The Moldovans pass through a disease. The antibody will appear. It is important Moldova till then not to die, Plahotniuc not to kill it. I think that we are not far from the moment when Plahotniuc will be forced to serve his punishment for the ribaldry which he has made.
If Plahotniuc was removed from power earlier, the Moldovans would not drink the medicine. You have to drink everything from the glass. We, as natural persons, had to drink the medicine when we had been condemned, when our shares from Victoriabank, Banca de Economii had been stolen.
The people, the majority of people were not understanding it — “Some rich men were robbed, so what?”, especially because the Moldovan does not like rich men. When the people were robbed, when 1,3 billion were stolen from each, when the exchange rate decreased, when the prices increased, when each was punished, then they understood and realized, and this brings to a general fight, to a general mobilisation. The nation will survive, the country will survive, the immunity will appear.
In Chişinău is known that you were business partners with Vladimir Plahotniuc. Can you tell us more on this subject? What did this partnership involve?
Plahotniuc and we became co-shareholders at the Victoriabank, staring with 2004-2005 we started our collaboration. We did not know who this man is. Later, working with him, you see him, you feel him, you know him. In 2006-2007 he was stressed, very stressed. I did not think that such man exists on the Earth, that such evil could exist. And I was searching for specialists, psychologists, people who knew human nature and they told me very clearly: this guy is a sociopath.
He has no financial responsibility, he has no compassion, he has no shame, he has no honour. He considers kindness a weakness. There were two very important events. At a certain moment, despite the fact that Shlopak (former director of the ASITO, Eugene Shlopak) came to me and proposed to buy shares at the ASITO, he told “let’s steal from Shlopak, let’s rob him
— The television post was founded in 2009. The purpose of the TV channel was to shed light, to inform. I had the experience of the Communist period, when Voronin was controlling almost the whole mass-media. Voronin was never so dull and so bad, so wicked like Plahotniuc. Then I understood that it is needed independent mass-media, that will bring freedom of information in public. Of course, the event and Plahotniuc’s role appeared later, the TV post foundation took place in 2009. We decided to form the TV post and the decision was taken before April, 7, 2009.
We everybody do this thing. I cannot come out in public, I have never come out at TV since then and I did not want to come out, but I can do it otherwise, which is not easier. When you produce incomes, when you take the respective incomes from business and invest them into your motherland, to enlighten, to show to the people the truth, it is also a contribution. Not everybody can do this and I want to tell that the money which I invested in this project do not bring me anything.
I do not intend to practice politics, I do not intend to come to power, I do not intend to promote any political party. No international organisations did it, nor other people did it. What Plahotniuc does with his media holding is called propaganda. He is motivated by other factor, the factor of survival. He stole, he robbed, he performed very many illegalities and he is motivated to survive. He needs power. As long as he will have power, he will survive. If the power will fall, he will have to serve his punishment for the ribaldries which he made.
— I want to discuss about the lawyer Andrei Năstase. It is the man to which you are connected through friendship and long collaboration, at a certain moment you became his godfather. We are the witnesses that in the last year and a half Andrei Năstase went through a spectacular evolution, I would say even fulminant: from the posture of lawyer to that of the leader of protests and, moreover, has become a renowned leader of the opposition, maybe one of the most important leaders of the opposition. Do you, Victor Ţopa, assume yourself any role in this evolution of Andrei Năstase?
Andrei was our lawyer. He defended us, he entered the matter of problems. He knew the negative hero Plahotniuc. He had the same challenge like we had. He understood the hero, he understood the Moldovan society. The challenge and the problem made him evolve from simple lawyer to politician. I think that in 2011-2012 Andrei became slowly a political actor, he transformed into a political actor. He evolved. He took the big problem of Moldova on his back and fights against Plahotniuc.
He had an illustrious European career. He chose another fate, he chose his fate alone. He remained in Moldova, he surrounded himself with people with high morality, he created the Platform. I have no influence, nothing! Nor financial, nor organisational. For me it was a surprise when in April 2015 I saw 3.000 people. Then I found out about the Platform DA. Then I watched, I aimed with much sympathy.
I was very much surprised and I am impressed by Andrei. He has evolved very much, he has grown very much and again, the opponent, the rival, the man who took over the whole control and has captured the power in Moldova, in fact, made Andrei and the Platform DA to mobilise and fight against him. It is a great thing what is happening now.
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Moldova falls into the hole-2