The Rats Go Running in Moldova

As the deadline of January 29 gets ever closer, none of the politicians know what the fuck to do. This article, written just yesterday, is already out of date, but has valuable information about what’s at stake:

The Eastern Partnership is suffering a two-front assault. On the one hand, the Netherlands are going to the polls in a referendum that will approve or disapprove of the Association Agreement between the EU and Ukraine. On the other hand, Moldova is heading towards elections that are likely to have a profound effect on the country’s foreign policy orientation.

In theory, Ion Paduraru could be the New Prime Minister of Moldova. His nomination for the post came on Thursday, January 14th by Moldova’s President, Nicolai Timofti.

Paduraru won’t be the next Prime Minister because word came down from the shaky “pro-EU” alliance that they won’t accept him. The Democratic Party (which had been supporting hated oligarch Vlad Plahotniuc) just offered up Pavel Filip in a last-ditch effort to hang onto power. It’s almost impossible to keep up with all these men nominated for PM, including the American stooge Ion Sturza:

After closed-door consultations with visiting U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary in the Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs Bridget Brink in mid-December, Timofti unexpectedly nominated Ion Sturza, Moldova’s Prime Minister in the late 1990s, as his candidate for the head of government.
However leaders of Moldova’s Democratic Party said Sturza would not have support of the lawmakers and threatened President Timofti with impeachment if he nominated a candidate to the prime minister’s post without consultations with the parliamentary factions. As a result, the Moldovan parliament boycotted voting on the Sturza’s government on January 4, with only 47 out of 101 lawmakers present at the session.

Short version: America said “pick Sturza”, and Plathoniuc’s boys said, “No way.” They then nominated Plahotniuc but street protests threatened to get out of control, so Timofti rejected him. Timofti then picked Paduraru, and then Plathoniuc’s boys said, “Forget about it.” So now the last man standing (for now) is Pavel Filip.

Technically, the “pro-EU” block still holds a shaky majority in Parliament, and could confirm Filip for Prime Minister, except for one thing: the “Popular European Party” just defected from the pro-EU bloc, (link in Romanian) which makes it look like former PM Iurie Leanca (who was supposed to be the shining star of the “pro-EU” team) is making closed-door deals with the (pro-Russia) Socialists, as Leanca is saying his team now wants elections to be held.

Only in this part of the world can a political party named for an idea (joining the EU) switch sides at the drop of a hat. Not to mention the irony that it was Leanca himself, when he was Prime Minister, who signed the papers putting Moldova on the path to EU membership.

Meanwhile, over in Romania, everyone thinks the political standoff in Moldova is entirely their doing. This journalist from Adevarul writes (in Romanian) that Moldova is full of dirty Russia lovers but the brave, hardworking, long-suffering Romanian politicians did their best to get Moldova to hang onto a shred of their Romanian identity. I seriously cannot remember the last time I read such a patronizing piece of crap. Romanians are egotistical as hell but this really takes the cake.

Not content to be left out of the “fun”, Romanian ex-PM and future convict Victor Ponta believes he is in control of everything in Moldova.

It makes me want to throw up a little in my mouth to translate his last Facebook post but here it is a portion of it:

Just a short note about what’s going on in the Republic of Moldova! Lately, I’ve held my tongue about what’s been going on in Moldova. I know only too well all of the players involved (and I’ve been talking to them on the phone this week in the hopes that I can find a solution). I don’t want to name my friends over there but I respect and admire them.

But now the die has been cast – total chaos and the inevitable complete bankruptcy of everything and now the pro-Russia, anti-Romania side is certain to come out on top!

He then goes on a long rant about all the things Romania has done for Moldova (during Ponta’s reign as PM), without once mentioning that he did most of it in order to shore up votes for his plan to be elected president in 2014 with “bought” votes from Moldova (thousands of RM citizens have dual Romanian citizenship). Ponta also credits himself for convincing Iurie Leanca (the guy who literally just abandoned ship on the pro-EU bloc yesterday!) to sign the Association Agreement that put Moldova on the path towards EU membership.

So, after all this hard effort and amazing generosity towards Moldova, why are the “anti-Romania” forces now winning? Easy, if you know Ponta: it’s someone else’s fault!

In the past two months we managed to export across the Prut River [the border between Romania and Moldova] nothing but stupidity, myopia, and the kind of apathy that characterizes Bucharest!!! [he literally put three ! marks] This treason from Bucharest is just as bad as the events of 1940, when we faced the almighty Soviet Union alone! The ongoing events [in Moldova]are purely the result of laziness and stupidity!

So “Bucharest” is a code both for President Klaus, as well as the various factions in Parliament that Ponta blames for abandoning him (Ponta) and lifting his parliamentary immunity. If anyone is stupid and myopic, it’s Victor Ponta himself. Let’s unpack the sheer volume of idiocy contained in his post:

  1. He skipped the preliminaries and went straight to Godwin’s Law (Romanian style), comparing a peaceful political crisis in Moldova to the most devastating war in the history of humanity.
  2. In 1940, Romania was allied with the Nazi government of Germany, and didn’t fire a shot against the Soviet Union.
  3. If any country faced the Soviet Union alone in 1940, it was Poland.
  4. The “treason” of 1940 that I assume Ponta is referring to is when the Romanian government ceded Bessarabia (roughly analogous to today’s RM) and Northern Bukovina (Cernauti and environs) to the Soviet Union. This happened because a) the Nazis, Romania’s allies, wanted it to happen (and later gave half of Transylvania to Hungary, and southern Dobruja to Bulgaria) and b) the Soviet Union was in a partnership with the Nazis as a result of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, so they were (effectively) allied with tiny and insignificant Romania at that point.
  5. I sincerely doubt any politician of note in Moldova is taking calls from Victor Ponta, who is a disgraced politician facing multiple criminal charges.
  6. I have no idea what makes the last TWO months any different than the past year, as the crisis in Moldova has been ongoing since November 2014 (when pro-Russia parties made significant gains).
  7. Almost nobody in RM is “anti-Romania”, unless you mean “anti-Romania constantly telling Moldova what to do while acting smug and superior.”

Honestly, the whole thing is overblown. Everything in Moldova is proceeding entirely along peaceful, democratic lines. One election was held years ago, with a pro-EU majority voting to put Moldova on the path towards EU membership in 2013. A second election was held in November 2014 and the people elected politicians who weren’t so enthusiastic about joining the EU, especially after the pro-EU politicians proved themselves to be criminals of the highest order. Now a third election is imminent. This is no need for hysteria, hyperbole, and throwing around terms like “treason” or “coup d’etat”.

Reading all these news stories, you’d think this country was about to kick off a civil war. I’m here on the ground and I can tell you that life is normal. Yes, there are some protests. And yes, people are unhappy. So what? They’ll vote soon and we’ll move on.

The only reason why anyone in the outside world cares is because their precious fantasy of a united Romanian-speaking dream team of RM together with Romania in the European Union is about to be dashed.

Oh well, get over it!

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