Melescanu Shits the Bed

Today, all of the local news stations are buzzing over the latest catastrophe from Romania’s foreign minister, Teodor Melescanu, in which he was caught red-handed in a BBC interview defending corruption: Ouch! Of course, it must be remembered that Melescanu is quite literally an old Communist dinosaur (link in Romanian) with a troubling history of…

Poking the Giant

In response to your letter on December 19, 2018, asking the Central Bank of Romania’s opinion on the emergency ordinance to raise taxes, we hereby send you a series of analyses that we have conducted. We would also like to mention that since we only had a limited amount of time to prepare this report, our conclusions must be considered merely preliminary in nature.

Milking That Cow

It is truly astonishing that Romania, perpetually struggling with budgetary shortfalls, still has such an expensive line item in place just to subsidize successful political parties.

The Chisinau Mayoral Election, Part 2

Advisory warning: What follows is an extremely tedious and detailed analysis of the recent mayoral elections in Chisinau, the conclusion of which is that I stand by my initial findings. This past week, the European Union decided to freeze a 100 million euro aid package to Moldova specifically because of the Chisinau mayoral race: Disbursements…

The Curious Case of the Chisinau Mayoral Race

On May 20, 2018, voters in Chisinau headed to the polls for the first round of what was a very low-key and boring election. Since 2007, Chisinau has been run like a personal fiefdom by Dorin Chirtoaca, a close personal friend of former Romanian President Traian Basescu. Chirtoaca was re-elected in 2015 and should still…

Chilling Effects

Romania has been a quagmire of incompetence, stupidity, and corruption for many decades now, but two recent stories caught my attention because of just how scary they are. First, the Writers Union in Romania did something really weird with Herta Müller: Last week, Müller learned that she had been expelled from the USR [Romanian Writers…

The Man Behind the Curtain Speaks

Although he normally toils away in obscurity, speaking only to his minions and the foreign governments that prop up his regime, Vladimir Plahotnyuk took the opportunity last week to speak to the press. The reason? Well, 2018 is a mandatory election year for parliament. Although people have been protesting (especially in the winter of 2016/17)…