The Hollow Men

Another day in the funhouse world that is Romania. First, the European Court of Human Rights has – yet again – ruled against Romania, this time for torturing people. From the ECHR: Romania committed several rights violations due to its complicity in CIA secret detainee programme. In today’s Chamber judgment, in the case the European…

A Maybe Kinda Sorta Crime Against Humanity

Well, this sounds exciting: Romanian prosecutors on Monday requested to prosecute former president Ion Iliescu and ex-prime minister Petre Roman for “crimes against humanity” during the deadly aftermath of the country’s 1989 revolution. Attorney general Augustin Lazar asked President Klaus Iohannis to give the green light to open criminal proceedings against the former leaders, according…

Davai Ceas, Davai Palton

In case you’re wondering how Klaus Iohannis spent July 4, 2017, it was on stage with the American ambassador and a squad of US Marines, saying things like this. My translation: In terms of the military nature relationship, which is excellent, as well as our relationship with NATO, the United States is the primary guarantor…

Dirty and Dirtier

You’ve got to love the variety of English-language news reports during the past 24 hours with titles like New prime minister appointed after ruling party ousted their own government. I mean, only in Romania could something like this be seen as “normal” business. But there are some vitally important facts missing from all the international…

Hey Pharaoh, Let My People Go!

I was actually all set to blast you with links and long blocs of translated quotes, but I see that the spritely Bucharest Life has already gone and done the heavy lifting. If you want to know more details, read their article. I just wanted to chime in here and say that one of the…

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…

Cops Arrest Tourists for Taking Selfies in Front of Klaus House

So far it’s only in Romanian, but two tourists were arrested in Sibiu yesterday for taking selfies on a public sidewalk near President Johannis Klaus’s house. My translation: A man and a woman were arrested and taken to the Sibiu Municipal Police station last night at 7:00pm by a team of gendarmes. The personal information…

Klaus Gets his Orders from the World Bank

Big smiles all around at the World Bank after a successful meeting in Bucharest yesterday: The World Bank’s status as an important partner to Romania was reiterated during the meeting, as well as the fact that Romania represents one of the World Bank’s most important partners in the region. Essentially, Klaus promised to sell off…

A Hated Oligarch is Romania’s Last Hope

Moldova is rapidly heading towards the precipice: Moldova’s president on Wednesday rejected a proposal to nominate an influential politician and businessman to become the next prime minister, saying there were doubts about his integrity. But President Nicolae Timofti said there were reasonable suspicions about Plahotniuc’s integrity and said he would not nominate him for the…

Loan Shark

Word Count: 657 Brief background in case you’re just joining us: The Republic of Moldova (where I live) is a divided country, where some people speak Romanian at home and some people speak Russian. Likewise, politics are divided, with some groups wanting to join the European Union, and some groups wanting closer ties with Russia…

The Cruelest Month

WORD COUNT: 1952 Hey folks, I apologize for my lengthy absence. A lot of things have been going on around here, but they deserve the time to tell it right, and that isn’t going to happen right now. I’ve been pedal to the metal with other things, which is a shame, because I love to…