Relations with Romania focusing on the issue of Romanian citizenship and visas will be one of the major topics at the 2009 legislative elections in the Republic of Moldova, according to Chisinau-based newspaper Timpul.

It is quoted by the IA Regnum agency as claiming that unless the general situation improves in the ex-communist republic the issue of gaining a Romanian passport would become “vital for hundreds of thousands of Moldovan people”.

It writes that more and more Moldovans are willing to leave the country and the first to do so are the country’s youth. “The result is that Moldovan schools are producing cheap labor for Italy, Spain, Greece et al.”, Timpul comments.

According to IA Regnum, about 900,000 people of the Moldovan Republic have so far submitted requests of Romanian citizenship and the figure may rise to as high as 1.5 million by the end of the year.