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When thousands filled the streets of Moldova's capital on Sunday, their complaint was pretty significant.
Late last year, about $1 billion disappeared in an apparent banking scandal that’s mystified Europe’s poorest country.
To put that sum into perspective, it’s an eighth of the country’s GDP. In United States terms, that portion of the economy would add up to more than $2 trillion.
The money reportedly vanished in a series of murky loans dealt out last November by three major banks — one of them state-owned — to as yet unknown recipients.
Officials wised up to the scheme only earlier this year.
Igor Botan, a political analyst and a member of the grassroots movement that organized Sunday’s protest, believes the pro-European ruling coalition was complicit in the crime.
“Our country is a poor and agrarian country,” he told GlobalPost on Monday. “But it’s home to decent people who want their country to flourish, to be closer to European standards, and for it to find its economic niche alongside the European Union.”
That'd be like someone stealing $6312.50 to $6623.22 (calculated from gross GDP divided by the number of citizens) from each citizen in the US.