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…

Garbage Fire

Lately, I’ve had my mind on my neighbor down the road, but that doesn’t mean that I’ve forgotten about good old Unicorn City. Ah yes, my pet name for dear, sweet Cluj-Napoca, a charming city that is, unfortunately, a little too full of its own shit. How many times have I written about this before,…

A Cat Named Shura

You know, I don’t often write about Moldovan politics. There are a number of reasons for this, the biggest one being that I still don’t feel completely confident about exactly what’s going on. Moldova may be a small country, but it is… very different, and often what you see on the news is just the…

Legion of Honor

I see that the beatification of Saint Laura Codruta Kovesi continues apace as the French government just officially awarded her the Legion of Honor (French version ici), the highest civilian distinction that the French government has. I suppose she’s in good company. Other Romanians who have received this very prestigious and completely legitimate honor include:…

Government cheese

I still have no idea what the Szeklers mean when they want autonomy but, as I said in my article, the biggest problem in Romania is that literally everything is decided in Bucharest. A case in point – yesterday President Basescu signed into law a bill that will increase the salaries of mayors, deputy mayors…

Don’t follow leaders

As someone who maintains a site (nearly) exclusively focusing on Romania, it’s certainly incumbent upon me to mention that 2014 is a presidential election year in this country. After two turbulent 5-year terms in office, Basescu is required by law to step down this year. Who will replace him is anybody’s guess but yesterday I…