Sucker Bet

One thing I’ve never understood is Romania’s irrational fear and hatred of Russia. Literally anything that Russia does is always met with suspicion while conversely anything that the United States does is always excused and forgiven. Romania had a brief dispute with the United States when NATO illegally began bombing the shit out of Yugoslavia…

Baby’s Dirty Bathwater

Well, it’s been an interesting couple of weeks since I last wrote about Romanian politics. When we last checked in, the ruling PSD-ALDE coalition had urged President Iohannis to nominate a Muslim woman for Prime Minister. That didn’t end up happening. Instead, Iohannis appeared on television and rejected her nomination without saying why. This led…

The Fail Whale Checklist

Word Count: 1984 For years, I’ve been writing about the numerous failings great and small of government agencies and political leaders in Romania. Certainly no country is perfect and some mistakes and missteps are to be expected. But the subject of this article encapsulates exactly what is wrong with the country and why no amount…

Banker Hired to Sell Romania

They always say that if you want to make a little money, rob a bank, but if you want to make a ton of money, become a banker. I guess the Romanian government agrees: The government has appointed Manuel Costescu, an investment banker at JP Morgan, as state secretary in charge of the Department for…

Protests Continue in Moldova

Every major media outlet, including the BBC and all the major players in other languages, covered the events of yesterday (Sunday) as between 10 and 50 thousand people came out in the bitter cold to call for new elections: Chanting “We Are the People” and “We Want our Country Back” in both Romanian and Russian,…