“Producer” was absent from Union demonstration, but its “product” was present there. Subjective notes

“The “producer” of an eventual future union of the Republic of Moldova and Romania was absent from the Union demonstration mounted in central Chisinau, but its “product” was present there and this was the result of a process that lasted for over half a century…”

An attentive observer could see mainly faces burned by the sun and blown by the wind, harsher and non-urban faces among the participants in what the organizers called the Great Centenary Assembly held on March 25. The larger number of people from villages than from towns seemed to be one of the distinctive signs of the event compared with other rallies staged in the Great National Assembly Square during the last few years. The impression is accentuated by the largest number in the past 25 years of rural speakers at similar events held in central Chisinau. These were mainly the mayors of villages that signed symbolic statements on the Union.

Villagers became more active unionists?

The same observer could see that most of the participants were aged between 35 and 40 and between 55 and 60 and were representatives of categories with tendencies to the middle class, average esthetic and price values, personal symbols related to the Centenary besides the collective ones, and there were much fewer rural young people. And much fewer townspeople in general. Or maybe the faces of the young people from villages haven’t yet turned harsh so visibly…

Why did a part of villagers become more prominent supporters of the Union - the villagers, who are usually more pragmatic and more realistic in relation to the political concepts and luring than their “counterparts” from towns?

A part of the answer could be that the villagers also share feelings related to the identity, commonness of language, history and culture with the Romanians from the right side of the Prut. This could refer especially to a part of the rural intellectuality, which is more informed than the largest part of the people who remained in the country. But, as we cannot presume that the March 25 event involved only rural teachers and doctors, we must admit that this category could also be powerfully motivated by reasons that are common for the pro-union population, especially from villages.

Union as the last chance?

It seems that for all the rural unionists, the Union is the last chance to change their life after they saw other related ideals and hopes failing. Generalizing, we can say that for now, most of those who embraced the union idea are people of an active age from Moldova’s villages who do hard work in villages and who long for their children who went abroad to look for a better fate than their parents’, who face an acute shortage of doctors, teachers, students and labor force, who live in poverty and despair. This is what one of the speakers at the event meant when he said that if the state does not ensure the Union, they will do it.

Thus, in many respects, the penetration level of the union idea in Moldovan society, besides identity-related reasons, is directly proportional to the level of disappointment and failures experienced by the people here, especially those from villages. The main “producer” of this state of spirit includes all the governments that ruled after the country declared its independence, but all of them, not only those of the last few years that declared themselves pro-Europeans, as President Igor Dodon, who is a known opponent of the union idea, would say in public. The pro-statehood government that ruled before the pro-Europeans appeared and the Communist one of which the President formed part also contributed to dispelling the hopes for a really better life and, respectively, for the creation of the “Union product”.

Illusory “statehood” and “stability”

The example quoted by IPN in an older analysis remains valid. It was about a person whose joining of the category of people with severe disabilities coincided with the start of the Communist government, when a pension of 400 Moldovan lei a month was set for this. During eight years of “statehood” and “stability”, the pension rose by 50 lei a year, which is about €2-3 euro, rising to 800 Moldovan lei at the end of the mandate of that government, which is about €40. Meanwhile, it is regrettable to say it, but the person died and didn’t enjoy other benefits of that “statehood” and “stability”. All the pensioners in the Republic of Moldova and all the peasants, in particular, know that the pensions and salaries are now tens of times higher in Romania and that a Romanian passport gives you more rights in the world, especially in Europe, and ensures free access to the living standards of the Europeans, that the own state didn’t find money to repair the local school and kindergarten during 25 years, while the “foreign” state, Romania, found money for this...

Doomed to failure and failure as a process

Maybe not everyone would agree with an older thesis formulated by a known tribune of the Union at the March 25 event, who said that “the Republic of Moldova was a project doomed to failure”. But much more people support the conclusion that “the project of the state Republic of Moldova has been failed from the start until now”. The responsibility for this failure is mainly borne by all the past governments and the current government hasn’t yet shown that it derives to be struck off the list.

None of the former or current rulers dared to come to the March 25 event to publicly assume responsibility for the forced Union feeling of many Moldovans. Therefore, the “producer” of an eventual future union of the Republic of Moldova and Romania was absent from the Union demonstration mounted in central Chisinau, but its “product” was present there and this was the result of a process that lasted for over half a century.

Valeriu Vasilică, IPN

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