A Big Step Towards Romania?

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Semyon ALBU
On its way to a bright European future, the country is losing the last bits of its sovereignty and statehood. Yesterday, the ruling party launched the final elimination of such a “rudiment” as the Moldovan language
Finally, it happened. A long crusade against the Moldovan language, which began back in the 90s, ended triumphantly with the “taking of Jerusalem” in the walls of the Moldovan parliament. The “yellow crusaders”, infringing upon every imaginable legal procedure and even the minimum rules of democratic decorum, ultimately passed this decision (so what if it was only the first reading?). Undoubtedly, this is the most vital and urgent decision for the country in the current conditions. Along the way, they outrageously insulted the Constitution that even the notorious Plahotniuc is nothing compared to this. Such a sad end to our language was predetermined long ago, and in the last couple of years has become almost inevitable. And although the perpetrators of its “murder” were the ruling party MPs, the real sponsor, as one can easily guess, is Romania. Bucharest has long pursued a deliberate policy of eliminating the Moldovan language. Not only is Romania constantly nagging Ukraine on this point, pushing it to officially recognize the Moldovan language as non-existent, but also, of course, has long demanded similar steps from Moldova. Attempts to reverse the trend to annihilate the native language were made by the “moldovenists” in power in the early 2020s. We can remember how at the beginning of 2020, the Romanian Academy of Sciences even published a very remarkable notice that expressed concern about the “attempts to impose the non-existent concept of “Moldovan language” into official use in the Republic of Moldova, once supported by Soviet propaganda and revived today by some politically interested circles”. According to scholars, “promoting the idea of a ‘Moldovan’ language different from Romanian is not only a distortion of cultural reality and identity ... but also an ideological manipulation which the international community will never accept.” However, the efforts of the then ruling socialists and personally Igor Dodon proved to be too timid, ill-considered and in the end insufficient. Back in February 2020, I wrote that the battle for the Moldovan language was almost lost, and if nothing is done, “in a year or two, it will be of no use not only in Bucharest, but also in Chisinau.” Unfortunately, these words proved prophetic. With Maia Sandu - PAS tandem coming to power, it was quite obvious that the Moldovan language was doomed. The funny thing is that a year and a half ago, the president misspoke the denouement of this plot. Thus, in April 2021, responding to a question from the Romanian representative at PACE, she said that the problem of renaming the Moldovan language is mostly a technical task that could be solved by the will of the parliament. Igor Grosu, a unionist-nationalist who is also the speaker of the parliament, eventually turned out to be the most resolute. It was he who led the group of deputies that recorded the bill to completely replace the syntagma “Moldovan language” in the texts of all laws and normative acts with the words “Romanian language”. Accordingly, the name of the holiday “Limba noastră” was changed to “Limba romană”. As you know, PAS does not have a constitutional majority in parliament, and they could not count on the BoCS and the Sor Party’s support in this matter. The solution was as dubious as it was brazen: deputies of the ruling party declared the principle of “the supremacy of the Constitution” to be inferior to the “interpretations of the Constitutional Court.” The 2013 court ruling that made Romanian the state language of Moldova, referring to the prevalence of the Declaration of Independence over the text of the Constitution, which called Moldovan the state language, came just at the right time. That decision was made by the Plahotniuc’s CC, and our respectable “pro-Europeans” should, in theory, have no reason to refer to it at all. However, this is actually not the first time when PAS uses the ideas, practices and staff of the autocratic oligarch. And now the Constitution has been changed through an organic law, which, according to all legal democratic norms, is nonsense. Perhaps our Western partners have something to say about it? The question, as you understand, is rhetorical. Curiously, the national Academy of Sciences was quick to bow to such a “vital” PAS initiative: “Returning to the legal norm of the correct name of our language can put an end to the endless pointless discussions around this issue, decade-long speculations, improve the image of our country in the world and will ensure its European integration”. I think that the final adoption of the law will be followed by similar praise from Bucharest, who is the main reason of all this mess. Well, our big brother can now be satisfied – the Moldovan language, which for so many years had been an eyesore for our neighbors across the Prut, has almost sunk into oblivion. One obstacle less on the track to a new Unirea, which seems almost inevitable, rather than just very probable, as we move forward. It is very ironic (in a sad way) that the Moldovan language, which is much older than Romanian, should leave the historical scene. And the tradition of Moldovan statehood is also older than that of our Western neighbors. Can it be considered a sign that its fate will be the same as that of the language? Well, the current trends suggest so.