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Illuminating Yellow a look back home NICOLAE ODAGIU

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n 1989, in the aftermath of Gorbachev’s perestroika and glasnost programmes, the Moldovan Soviet Socialist Republic managed to declare its sovereignty in order to later proclaim and declare on the 27th of August 1991 the independence of the Republic of Moldova. A déjà vu if we revise the rhetoric of events following the fall of the Russian Empire, when after the Bolshevik Revolution and Lenin’s encouragement of the self-determination principle, Bessarabia, in 1917, succeeded in breaking away from the Russian yoke and constitute the Moldovan Democratic Republic. The componence of the first and only legislative organ that headed the state, Sfatul Tarii (Country council), was democratically elected. The subsequent national awakening of pro-unionist movements which occurred on March the 27th 1918, triggered Sfatul Tarii to vote for the union between the republic and the ‘mother country’, Romania. As a consequence, the Country Council dissolved itself. Many wonder why this rhetoric was impossible to put in practice in 1991. Some say that this is due to the political instability in the mother country, shivered by the bloody revolution against Ceausescu; others refer to the Kremlin’s hand which executed a dominating control over the events in the country, making sure that the pro-unionist values were not propagated. The political uneasiness continued in the next three decades when the republic’s gained sovereignty was met with a separatist war, resulting in the creation of the autonomous region of Transnistria, the crisis in the late 90s, the emerging communist nostalgia in the early 2000s, the Revolution against the communists in 2009, the European path redefined in the 2010s, the grand theft that followed, corruption, poverty, falling confidence in a

page 6 | eurovisie | march

European future and…

“somehow… there is still hope.” Let us go to 2014 first. It was a year that represented a significant milestone for RM as it signed the Association Agreement Treaty with the European Union, establishing a Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area (DCFTA), the removal of import duties for most goods, and broad mutual access to trade and services between the signatory parts. The Agreement also put into operation the liberalization of the visa regime. In theory, the treaty represented a step further in Moldova’s strivings towards European integration. The Agreement officially set the path to closer ties between RM and the EU, allowing for further convergence by implementing reforms in the judicial system, other matters regarding the national legislation, education system, and energy infrastructure. These measures facilitated the entire process of “Europeanization” through strengthening the economy as more opportunities opened for exports and foreign investments in the country. The closer ties with the EU were met with harsh critics from Russia, when earlier in 2013 an imposed embargo on Moldovan wine was extended in 2014 to fresh and canned fruits. The bilateral relations or the axe EU – RM – Russia concludes once again the existential crisis and the dilemma that Moldova faces since its independence. To top it all off, in November 2014, what was later called the “Grand Theft” obstructed the entire process of European Integration as it was proven that political figures, members of the government, and even essential figures in the judicial institu-

tions were involved in the theft of more than one billion dollars from three Moldovan banks, which exposed a shadow ruler, a puppet master who had total or opaque control on almost all public institutions in RM, Vlad Plahotniuc. The theft consisted out of more than one billion dollars that suddenly vanished from three banks. The affair was possible due to the pressure and control over the judicial and anti-corruption institutions, and the lack of transparency in the banking system. The millions disappeared due to multiple loans given by these three banks to bizarre and shell companies owned by people whose identity remained anonymous in an elaborate scheme of offshore corporations, who disappeared with the loaned money. This happened at a time when the European Union remarked Moldova as a “success story”, “a poster child” and front-runner of the Eastern Partnership (EaP), Moldova receiving the highest amount of EU aid per inhabitant of all the EaP members. The oligarch that remained at the base of the laundromat machine allegedly looted some four billion of EU funds through the control over members of the pro-European coalition. The entire theft operation led to losses of almost 12% of the GDP. The effects surfaced once the National Bank raised the base rate, Moldova experienced a sudden inflation and a depreciation of the Moldovan LEU (MDL). Furthermore, the public response was detrimental to the idea of a European future. EU funds were suddenly frozen, and the failed government remained almost in the same format until 2019 when Moldova experienced one of the most acute political crises following the long-awaited parliamentary elections. The year 2019 was considered

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Eurovisie March 2021 - Online Edition  

Eurovisie March 2021 - Online Edition  

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