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…