Moldova declared independence in August 1991. The offi cial language is Moldovan, which linguists consider as a dialect of Romanian. Russian is also spoken widely. Moldova is largely an agricultural country, and one of the poorest in Europe. Until the disputed elections in April 2009 Moldova was ruled by a market-orientated communist party.
The agriculture is the main branch of economy. By the 1999, nearly 80 per cent of the population of Moldova lived below the poverty line (UNDP 2003: 231). Till 2007 the number reduced but due to the economic crises it is starting to grow again.
The number of employees in agriculture has dropped much (about 23 percent of all employees, compared with about 28 percent in early 2008), by more than 88,000 people. The explanation would have two reasons: 1. the emigration of population to other countries (in particular from rural areas); 2. seeking a job in urban areas. According to latest surveys, the unemployment has hit more than 80 percent of families that means at least a family member was dismissed or obliged to take an undesired vacation. Respectively, 25 percent of those who lost their jobs have plans to immigrate to other countries
Migration Over half a million of Moldovans reside outside the country, working in jobs that earn them a meager pay and very little protection. These migrants produce c. one third of the GNP of the Republic of Moldova.