Meetings organized by the opposition Christian Democratic party have been raging in Moldova for three months already. The resentment of the population was caused by the decision of Moldavian President Voronin to introduce the study of the Russian language in the second year of the secondary school education and replace the History of Romania with the History of Moldavia. After loud protests of the population, Voronin’s decision was cancelled after two months.
Leader of the Christian Democratic party Yury Roshka does not consider it to be the final result. Now, the nationalists demand the resignation of the government and pre-scheduled parliamentary elections. Nowadays, Communists make up the majority in the parliament. Therefore, the debates about the status of the Russian language became a cover for the satisfaction of the nationalists’ political ambitions.
The mass protests in Chisinau supposedly demonstrate the people’s discontent with the policies of the Communist leadership in Moldova, but the situation is quite different in fact. The majority of Moldavian population is indifferent to the opposition’s meetings and the Communist government on the whole. Indeed, there are displeased people, but it is really very hard to satisfy everybody’s concerns. This is especially true regarding the fact that the authorities are not going to suggest any considerable changes to the economic sphere and the Transdniestr problem. They do have some suggestions, but the realization of ideas is not always a success. Talks about the status of Transdniestr have been recently livened up, but the situation is still the same. Chisinau will not give up the territorial integrity of the country, and Tiraspol would not like to sacrifice its independence, although it is restricted.
The Christian Democratic party hardly believes that the government will resign at once. What is the concern of the nationalists in the whole of the situation then? It is perfectly clear that Yury Roshka and his party are using the protests to restore their former popularity. The nationalists, as well as the communists and other Moldavian parties, have no suggestions concerning economic reforms. All suggestions on the recovery of the economic crisis submitted by the political parties are hardly feasible.
Moldavia is a predominantly agrarian country, and the majority of agricultural products is exported to Russia. This is the only thing Moldavia can offer nowadays. Potential investors are thus slightly concerned about Moldavia. Moldavia’s neighbor, Romania, is experiencing hard times with its economy as well and consequently has no means to assist Moldavia. Although, Roshka’s party sometimes receives some money from its neighbor, which come in really handy for organization of mass protests.
People notice that the majority of the protesters are schoolchildren and students. Some of them do it because of their patriotic spirit, as Mr.Roshka explains himself as well. However the communists say that the Christian Democratic Party is paying money to the most active protesters. The party itself denies such accusations. Indeed, it is really very hard to find out whether or not participants of the meetings are given any money at all. In fact, there may be some other reasons for the young people to go into the streets. Probably, they do not wish to attend lectures because of warm spring weather.
It is not ruled out that the majority of the protesters realize perfectly well that Yury Roshka and his party are using them for their own interests. At the same time, some of the protesters are really anxious about the country’s future. Unfortunately, such people have no safe support nowadays, as the communists have not done anything considerable so far, and the doings of the nationalists at the beginning of the 1990s brought lamentable consequences to the country; it is hardly to recover soon.
Moldavia’s problem today is not the Russian language or nationality (either Romanian or Moldavian) but the political leaders who try to make fortunes on the country’s problems.
Oleg Artyukov PRAVDA.Ru
Translated by Maria Gousseva
Read the original in Russian: http://www.pravda.ru/main/2002/04/09/39466.html
After a trip to Russia, Polish writer Maya Wolny concluded that the West did not even have a close idea of how things really were in the Russian Federation.