Inconvenient Truth for the Ruling Elite

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The policies of Maia Sandu and PAS have definitively diverged from the interests of the Moldovan citizens, as recent sociological polls confirm. Even the beginning of EU accession negotiations at the end of this year may not save the ruling elite in the upcoming elections, especially amid the declining public support for European integration
Semyon ALBU, RTA: Quite typical situation for the last two years: Moldova is again left without a president. No, it’s not about Maia Sandu’s resignation – her conscience hasn’t awakened and she is still in office. The fact is that Madam President went on another foreign tour to visit several Western countries (where else?) starting with the Netherlands. It’s obvious that with these visits Sandu wants to reinforce support for the negotiations on Moldova’s accession to the EU to be opened at the end of this year. The choice of the first state for the visit is very “telling”. The Netherlands, being one of the economic nuclei of the European Union, has a slightly more pragmatic view on the issues of enlargement and admission of new members, realizing that they and other “welfare colleagues”, such as France, Belgium and others, will have to pay for the whole European banquet. Thus, Amsterdam does not even let Romania into Schengen, although France and Germany have already officially supported Bucharest. Apparently to no avail. Well, our authorities are preparing as much as they can, waiting for the historical auditions, when European leaders will look under a microscope at our successes in the field of European integration. But if the EU is only preparing to evaluate them, the Moldovan society has already done that. I mean the latest sociological polls, with very indicative statistics, as I think. There you can find a lot of interesting figures. In particular, those highlighting that almost half of the population does not trust any of the current politicians at all, that president enjoys the trust of less than a fifth of citizens. And about the total distrust to political parties and parliament. And about the prompt decrease of the ruling party’s rating. And the most important thing: 60% of respondents believe that Moldova is moving in the wrong direction. At the same time, poverty, the future of children and prices are the top three problems that concern the population. The war in Ukraine and corruption, which our officials put at the core of the agenda, are of lesser concern for our citizens. The conclusion is simple, and I have already written about it - the further the policy of the ruling elite goes, the more it diverges from the objective needs of the population. Only a very “good person”, of whom the ruling party consists, can fail to realize this. Although even they probably realize that Maia Sandu and PAS have made a “wrong turn” somewhere. However, it still has no influence on the general course of the party, and it can’t, because now it is a conglomerate of clans, fragilely held together by business interests, profitable schemes and the influence of external partners. That is why the main courses in our domestic and foreign policy are support of Ukraine and European integration, i.e. things that do not require special thought and practical efforts, where it is easy to adrift, pretending to be a “boat without oars”. And what’s more, the ruling party is exacerbating the problems that actually concern the public. But, as polls show, it is no longer possible to powder the brains of Moldovan people with Ukraine and Europe. Of course, everyone sympathizes with the neighboring country and wishes for a speedy end to this terrible conflict, but life goes on in Moldova, and people want to live here and now. It becomes more difficult to feed them with fairy tales about European integration. It is not the 2010s, when we were fed with this nonsense about a bright European future. Everyone is just tired of the same slogans and stupid propaganda after the theft of billions of dollars, the seizure of the state and Sandu’s dictatorship. Therefore, I think that the ruling party has serious problems. And even the launch of the notorious negotiations on accession to the European Union is in fact another air that they are trying to sell us and will not impress our population, and therefore will not help in the election campaigns, whether local, presidential or parliamentary. Not only the support for PAS is decreasing, but also, due to its efforts, the support for European integration itself. It’s not critical yet, but the tendency is already obvious. Will it be possible to reverse it if EU leaders say “yes” to Moldova in December? I am not sure at all. I recall, it will be much harder than before to feed people with new fake success. Especially for the “yellows”, whose PR is much in trouble. Who will remember the summit of the European Political Community or the “great standing” on the square in Chisinau? The authorities are in a complete mess with their own image. It seems that they have simply given up on their image to cover up their actions. This is why the schemer Spinu was demonstratively returned to the government, together with his fellow villagers, and Rosian Vasiloi was not fired from the border police after the tragedy at the Chisinau airport. Given the enormous problems in the economy, the “adjourned” Western aid (how long has anyone heard about new tranches of money?) and its own dysfunction, the ruling party has no choice but to continue its Ukrainian-oriented and anti-Russian policy. In the first case, we sacrifice farmers and give, despite the risks, our infrastructure for the benefit of supplying the AFU; in the second case, we will have a serious dispute with Gazprom. Well, maybe the West will appreciate the effort by throwing a “cash bone”. But it won’t have much impact on the overall disposition. However, PAS can still hope to exploit the fact that the country’s political field has been “scorched” during the monopoly period of its rule, and people will have no alternatives during the elections. But I wouldn’t rely on it too much. The degree of disappointment and hopelessness in the society is such that people will surely be ready to choose anyone, as long as it is not the current authorities who have been completely dormant. We have experience of protest voting – the elections in Balti and Gagauzia may well give food for thought. If, of course, PAS members could generate thoughts in their heads...