Milking That Cow

It is truly astonishing that Romania, perpetually struggling with budgetary shortfalls, still has such an expensive line item in place just to subsidize successful political parties.

Rat Fight on the Titanic

I’ve been following politics in Romania since way back in the year 2000 when Traian Basescu cried on television after accepting his party’s nomination for president. Along the way, I’ve seen some truly stupid and greedy shit, so you’d think there’d be nothing left to surprise me. Well, yesterday, I discovered that there is apparently…

The Mask Comes Off

In the annals of history, people are going to look back at January 31, 2017, as the day that the Romanian government finally showed its true face. And boy, it sure is an ugly one. Ever since democracy was brutally crushed in June 1990, the government has been failing the people of Romania, but it’s…

How A Few Bankers Fucked Romania

The other day, my wife and I watched The Big Short about the collapse of the American economy in 2007-2008 (known in Romanian as the criza financiara). She was having trouble following the plot, and so she fell asleep. I’d already read the book (it’s fantastic) and so I managed to stay awake. But afterwards,…

Bodnariu Saga Over For Now

I first wrote about this case six months ago, wherein a Romanian family living in Norway had their children taken from them by the local equivalent of Child Protective Services. The case certainly got a LOT of attention in Romania, with 99.99% of the comments expressing rather hyperbolic sentiments along the lines of “A family’s…

Nitu Nitu!

Good lord, the wire services sure are getting sloppy. From Reuters, usually a step above the AP drivel from Alison Mutler: Prosecutor Tiberiu Nitu Nitu, 44 quit last week after prosecutors alleged that Oprea, also an interior minister, ordered unauthorised police motorbike escorts for him and Nitu. Oprea is already subject to an inquiry. Both…

The Saga of Rosia Montana

Word Count: 3843 Let’s start off with the good news. The Romanian Ministry of Culture, in conjunction with the Ministry of the Environment, Forests, and Water, officially added the Rosia Montana area to the list of sites to be considered by the United Nations as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Should this go all the…

Filip Remains Defiant

You got to love the balls on this guy. Pavel Filip, after becoming the new Prime Minister of Moldova in a secret ceremony held at midnight, just told the BBC that he refuses to do the right thing and step down: Speaking to the BBC, Mr Filip acknowledged that the political class had a last…

The Beatification of Laura Codruta Kovesi

Word Count: 2681 Over the past few days, I’ve been keeping a sharp eye on Victoria Nuland, the tip of the spear of America’s policy in this region. In her speech at the American Embassy on Monday (still not on the Embassy’s website), Nuland had plenty to say on a number of topics, including the…

The Rats Go Running in Moldova

As the deadline of January 29 gets ever closer, none of the politicians know what the fuck to do. This article, written just yesterday, is already out of date, but has valuable information about what’s at stake: The Eastern Partnership is suffering a two-front assault. On the one hand, the Netherlands are going to the…

Blowing Smoke

Word Count: 1810 It’s been an interesting week in Romania. What started out as a one-note story, that 27 people died in a fire at a club/disco soon morphed into wide-scale protests, and the “sudden” resignation of the Prime Minister (and a few other minor hacks). The Western media has been scrambling to knit these…

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…