Veti mai trai pana la 9 ianuarie!

Over the past few months, a lot of people have been asking me exactly how much of what happened during the Romanian 1989 Revolution was orchestrated by the United States (or conversely, the Soviet Union). There’s a really persistent conspiracy theory that the Revolution was largely stage-managed by the USA, and I want to know…

Nuland Endorses Moldova’s Most Hated Politician

Hmm…. this all sounds very familiar. First, the staid New York Times piece: These days, however, it is a different photograph that is rallying support for Moscow’s allies in Europe’s Poorest Country™. It shows a United States assistant secretary of state, Victoria J. Nuland, standing shoulder-to-shoulder in Washington with Vlad Plahotniuc, Moldova’s most-feared figure, a…

The Theft of the Century

The other day, after briefly mentioning how Kroll’s second report is now a month overdue (with no information about when it will ever be released), I remembered that somewhere in my archives I had a copy of the original Kroll report from April 2015. It’s a rather long and “boring” document but it is written…

En Garde, IMF!

It’s no secret that I have almost zero respect for Romanian journalists and bloggers. But I am starting to get a serious writer crush on Moldovan journalist Vitalie Calugareanu, who has been writing (literally!) the only decent analysis I’ve seen anywhere in the Romanian language on what’s going on in the Republic of Moldova. Because…

Moldova, Moldova, Sent Money Right Over!

Temperatures are warming up and the protesters aren’t going away: Moldova’s opposition has prevented reelection of Chairman of the Supreme Court of Justice (SCJ) Mihai Poalelungi whom it accuses of corruption. [The Protesters] chanted “Down With the Mafia!” and other anti-government slogans. I seriously had to laugh reading that sentence. “Down with the Mafia” is…

Everyone Agrees the IMF is Swell

I must say that it’s really been an interesting week for Moldova. No, I’m not just talking about all the protests but what all the players behind the current political crisis have been saying. Scattered across dozens of articles, you don’t see the pattern. It’s only when you stitch them together that you see what’s…

Romania Offers Bribe to RM

You’ll have to have a subscription to the FT to read this story, but the opening sentence is a doozy: Pavel Filip, Moldova’s new prime minister, took office last week in a manner more befitting a dictator on his last legs than the leader of the EU’s one-time success story in Eastern Europe. Ouch! The…

Storm Clouds Gather in Moldova

It’s another day of bitterly cold temperatures and another day of protests here in Chisinau, the capital of Moldova. Unfortunately for me, I was swamped with work and unable to go see the protests firsthand but my wife was in the area and reported that the protests were more strident than ever. For some bizarre…

The Ancient Romanian Art

I was doing some research for something else when I found an old (previously secret) telegram in the archives of the American State Department that made me laugh. In August of 1976, the “Stejar of Scornicesti”, Romanian dictator Nicolae Ceasescu made a rare trip to Chisinau, which was then part of the Soviet Union. He…

Incompetence on Every Level

A few weeks ago I read a piece called The Illusion of Corruption on the blog of a Romanian who grew up in Canada but has now returned to his homeland (and as a side note, the author is a personal friend) and the more I thought about it, the more I realized what he…

The Ballad of Cupru Min

Well as I’ve written about before, the Pig Man and the Daddy Isarescu had big plans for Romania in 2012 with the first step to be selling off equity shares (or the entire company) of some of the last of this country’s state-owned firms. The first one on the block was Cupru Min (literally “Copper…

Did We Mention How Awesome We Are?

Well the unsleeping eye picked up a new report (PDF) about just how Romania is doing in terms of making the IMF happy. You can certainly click on the link and read the entire thing, acronym and jargon-filled as it is, but if you want to save yourself some time I’ll sum it up for…