The country’s catastrophic state of affairs, coupled with an even more dire forecast for autumn and winter, prompts the president and the PAS to tighten the screws and suppress all dissent in society
Semyon ALBU, RTA:
The uneasy summer of 2022 is drawing to a close, and, judging by predictions and warnings, the all-European energy crisis with gas at 4000 dollars per thousand m3 and electricity at 700 euros and above per megawatt hour will follow. By all accounts, our country is hardly prepared for such hard times. However, according to Maia Sandu, the government is doing its job “well”, even if not all departments, in her opinion, maintain a brisk pace of European integration.
I would hardly agree with Mrs. President’s optimistic statements. The very fact that it is Sandu who has to solo in the media space and personally comment on almost all problems shows that things are not going well in reality. She used to be carefully guarded against this, so that she wouldn't have bad associations pinned on her, potentially spoiling the “perfect reputation” of our leader. Especially since her rating is basically the only pillar of the current regime’s legitimacy. It has certainly shattered over the past year, but it still looks good compared to the those of Igor Grosu and Natalia Gavrilita.
Using her political image and capital, Maia Sandu is trying to show that everything is under her own control. She instructs the ambassadors to attract investment, look for cheap energy resources and markets for Moldovan agricultural products. She meets with the mayor of Balti and discusses the northern capital’s special status. She goes camping with the trainees. She promises once again to invite Interpol to search for Plahotniuc. Or she holds another international meeting.
As for the latter, the president said that her predecessors used to wait by the toilet to take pictures with someone, but today we are respected. The statement is as pathetic as it is comical. Frankly speaking, I've never seen anywhere that the success of a country's leadership is measured by the number of international contacts. Quality is more important than quantity. But what do we have? There were a lot of promises from foreign partners, but in fact the government, as Ion Chicu rightly pointed out, in the absence of foreign aid is forced to borrow at a sky-high interest rate to just somehow fulfill its social obligations.
The sadder the situation in the national economy, the more hysterical the ruling elite and the president personally become. Sandu, based on her speeches, has two main problems now. The first one is, naturally, Russia, towards the aggravation of the relations with which we are confidently heading. Russia, the president is sure, continues to make tricks on our unhappy country. E.g., the gas contract. Apparently we should forget about last year's announcement that the formula in it was authored by our Deputy Prime Minister Andrei Spinu. Moreover, they want to collect historical debts from us, even though our government itself wished for “pragmatic relations”, without excessive trips to Moscow. Well, here they are, demanding debts from the debtor is quite capitalist.
Sandu is almost non-stop blaming Russia, often against common sense. For example, should we have accused the Kremlin of shelling the Zaporizhzhia NPP? Or said that there is no democracy in Russia? That may well be so, but she is not the politician to be talking about democracy, because in one year she has clowned around the Prosecutor General, walked all over the votes of Beltsy citizens in the local elections, and had two of the opposition's leading members placed under investigation.
In general, in the face of failures in the domestic and even in the foreign policy, no matter how much the president boasts, the regime has only sped up its tightening of the screws. And if earlier we were talking about mutation into something Vlad Plahotniuc-rule like, now we are talking about even uglier forms.
Proof of this is the second, intertwined with the first one, top problem of the President, namely the “enemies” inside Moldova. The protests, the number of which is growing exponentially, she has already labeled “attempts at destabilization” – clearly, by whom. This is especially true in Gagauzia, where the most active hotbeds of public discontent are observed. The authorities have already responded inadequately by introducing Fulger police special forces equipped with bulletproof vests and firearms to Comrat, allegedly for “exercises” about which, however, nothing was known before. In fact, it clearly was a natural act of intimidation.
As if to top it off, Maia Sandu made a whole bunch of threatening statements. She publicly said that the government would prosecute “dangerous people” who allegedly support the military aggression against Ukraine – I think that in reality this definition would include everyone who just wants Moldova to have normal relations with Russia, that is, half of the country's population. In addition, the same punitive measures will be applied to media resources that “justify or promote the war”. I should remind that our resource was also illegally blocked under the same wording, although we had not published anything of the kind. It is not hard to guess that the authorities will simply punish and even shut down unwanted media.
The war in Ukraine was a great misfortune for the entire region and for our country in particular, but it was a real gift for the “yellow team”. Now, Sandu and her comrades do not hesitate to eradicate any dissent, suppressing any opposition to their regime. If before, the PAS ruling the country seemed to me more based on authoritarian traits, now, with all those laws “on extremism”, stigmatizing their own citizens, putting pressure on the media and other “democratic trends”, we can safely say that the final stop for our government may be an almost totalitarian model of ruling the country. And don’t say nobody warned you.