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Some 30,000 Moldovans could get Romanian citizenship this year, Romanian Prime Minister Emil Boc told EUobserver, downplaying the effects of the fast-track citizenship scheme adopted by his government after brutal measures taken by the authorities in Chisinau following violent post-election demonstrations.  She measre had created a stir in Brussels and some European capitals, worried about the prospect of one million Moldovans – a fourth of the population of what is Europe's poorest country – to be able to travel visa-free within the EU.
However, Mr Boc estimated that the actual number of people receiving the Romanian citizenship in 2009 would be much smaller.

We are not talking about such large numbers. Last year, for instance, there were around 10,000 people who got citizenship. Maybe now it will be double or triple, but no way are there going to be millions," he said.

Mr Boc rejected the idea that facilitating the acquiring of Romanian citizenship for Moldovan citizens was a foreign policy of his country: "It's an individual policy to give Romanian citizenship, but not to everyone. Eligible are just the people who had Romanian citizenship in the past and lost it for reasons they are not guilty of," he said.

He was referring to citizens who used to be Romanians before 1940, when Moldova was annexed by the Soviet Union. The right to Romanian citizenship now also extends to their great-grandchildren.

"It is not a collective right, it's an individual right and applies only to those people who held citizenship in the past or their grandchildren – up to the third generation," Mr Boc explained.