“The most important thing is that the government manages to ensure an expectation horizon – entry into the EU in the medium term, acceptable to the absolute majority of the citizens. The opposition, on the contrary, after the unmotivated aggression of Russia against Ukraine, after the disasters, scandals, conflicts and rebellions in the member states of the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU), can no longer offer any prospects, not to mention the accession to this failed community…”
Perceptions and expectations of citizens
Opinion polls show that the citizens are disappointed and dissatisfied with the quality of governance. Citizens’ concerns are caused mostly (see page 15) by: increase in prices – 28%; low level of salaries and pensions – 17%; war in Ukraine – 15%; economic situation in the country – 9%; inefficiency of government– 7% etc. In such circumstances, the parliamentary opposition, represented by the Bloc of Communists and Socialists (BCS) and Șor Party, decided to determine the level of citizens’ dissatisfaction, organizing a series of protests against the government owing to the rising inflation and its effects. The protests were resonant, but their size didn’t impress. The same opinion polls show (see page 39) that 1/3 of the citizens support the protests against the current government, but only 14% would take part in them. In contrast, approximately half of the respondents do not support the protests and do not intend to take part in them. This way, it is not surprising that the protests initiated by the opposition do not enjoy the massive support of the citizens.
The analysis of poll data makes us believe that the justifications of the government are for now more convincing than the accusations made by the opposition against it. There are a number of explanations for such a state of affairs. Firstly, polls show that citizens’ information preferences have followed a reverse path. It is hard to believe, but the TV channels affiliated to the pro-Russian opposition and the pro-oligarchic ones (see page 7) purportedly lost the lead in the competition for audience to the independent channels and the channels financed with state budget funds. Secondly, the government seems to have persuaded most of the citizens that the energy crisis and the rising inflation are caused by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. When they were asked to name three things that concern them the most, the respondents noted: the war in the neighborhood – 59%; prices – 57%; children’s future – 35% etc. (see page 4). As regards Russia’s war against Ukraine, 41% of those surveyed consider it is an unjustified invasion and only 15% consider it goes to the declared goal of the invasion – liberation of Ukraine from Nazism (see page 23). It should be noted here that 41% of the respondents consider the regime of Putin is a fascist one (see page 35). More than 46% of those polled believe the Russian forces intentionally attacked military targets and also civilian facilities and only 10% consider that the Russian forces struck only military targets and civilians weren’t hurt (see page 26).
There is no doubt that the difficult socioeconomic situation in the Republic of Moldova and the war in Ukraine shaped the future expectations of the citizens. In this regard, if they have to choose between entry into the European Union (EU) and entry into the Eurasian Economic Union, the score would be of 55% to 22% (see page 31). In the context of the war in Ukraine, the government of the Republic of Moldova hurried to submit an application for EU membership. Consequently, 51% of the respondents consider this step is correct, while 37% believe this is a mistake (see page 34). A part of those 35% of the respondents who are for Moldova’s union with Romania (see page 30) could also be dissatisfied with the submission of the application to join the EU. The union would bring Moldova’s territory closer to the EU and under NATO’s umbrella without having to perform difficult and long-term procedures.
Cut from the same cloth?
Polls show the current government of the Republic of Moldova is perceived as relatively weak and impotent. But it happens so because the parliamentary opposition, together with the extraparliamentary one, is even weaker and is discredited and confused. As they say, two peas in a pod. The opposition parliamentary parties do not have a doctrine or a future view for the Republic of Moldova. Undoubtedly, the Socialists of the Republic of Moldova, aiming to imitate Vladimir Putin’s party, renounced the own ideology – democratic socialism, in favor of conservatism. A year later, they renounced conservatism in favor of the status of national social-patriotic party. Thank God PSRM hasn’t yet asserted itself as a national-Socialist party, this being even ultra-patriotic. PSRM’s Communist colleagues from the BCS coalition insist that they share the Marxist-Leninist ideology that by definition should be internationalist, not national-patriotic. That’s why the marriage between the Moldovan Socialists and Communists is absolutely abnormal. Moreover, the first blindly follow the example of Putin, copying even the ideological and geopolitical preferences of the Russian leader, who does not hide that he hates the Leninist internationalism and its effects.
Associating themselves with the Socialists for entering Parliament, the Communists ignore the attitude to the false Putinist symbols of their Communist comrades from Russia, who openly challenge the fact that the so-called ribbon of Saint George is the symbol of victory in the Great Patriotic War. We can admit that the gerontocratic administration of the Communists does not realize what’s going on in the region. But the Socialist elites that are relatively young could have behaved cautiously when associating themselves with the Putinist policy that started to be perceived as a fascist one by over 40% of the Moldovans. The informal leader of SRM, Igor Dodon, doesn’t find something better than to ostentatiously display his attachment to the symbols invented by the regime of Putin, pretending not to know that the so-called ribbon of Saint George, before being approved as a symbol of Putinism, served as a symbol of the Russian Nazi collaborationists from among Hitler’s army.
If we now put together the ostentatious affiliation of PSRM’s leaders to the Russian imperial movement and blind copying of the Putinist symbols, doesn’t the recent affiliation by PSRM to the national social-patriotic ideology seem logical? Yes, it seems and this is a reason for concern and for extending sociological investigations into the gradual infection of Moldovan society with national-socialism. The first symptoms are displayed by the attitude of a yet narrow segment of Moldova society to the war in Ukraine.
The current realities in the Republic of Moldova perceived by the citizens show that we have a relatively weak government that for now has a correct stance on the dramatic events happening in the region. The most important thing is that the government manages to ensure an expectation horizon – entry into the EU in the medium term, acceptable to the absolute majority of the citizens. The opposition, on the contrary, after the unmotivated aggression of Russia against Ukraine, after the disasters, scandals, conflicts and rebellions in the member states of the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU), can no longer offer any prospects, not to mention the accession to this failed community. In this regard, the PSRM in its last political program admits that the globalist institutions – the NBM, the World Bank, the EBRD and others - are traditional partners of the Republic of Moldova, pleading only for cooperation with the Eurasian Economic Union, the Eurasian Development Bank, the People’s Republic of China, the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank and other international organizations. It made no mention of EEU. In fact, we should not be surprised by the curvatures of the political maneuvers.