They walk along the Stephen the Great Boulevard in Chișinău like victors. Then, proud and firm, they stop in front of the Moldovan government’s seat. They carry national flags. However, this is not an ordinary patriotic or nationalist demonstration: they, Romanians, coming from the neighboring country, will demand the liquidation of the country they are in. And no one in this country will tell them that this is illegal or inappropriate.
This article was published on 14 May 2018 on the English section of The Barricade.
Their only postulate is the incorporation of Moldova into Romania. They want the events from a hundred years ago, when the State Council governing the autonomous Bessarabia, convened in autumn 1917 as a result of the February Revolution, voted in favor of incorporation into the Kingdom of Romania.
To be precise, one hundred years without two days — the demonstration takes place not on the exact anniversary, but two days before it, on Sunday, March 25, so that the demonstrators have time to arrive to Chișinău and return home. Symbolism had to give way, as most participant had a long way to travel. The master of ceremony could greet “Romanian brothers from the other side of Pruth”, but the names of towns on the flags tell me that the majority of the demonstrators are Romanian.
In the last Moldovan census in 2014, 75% respondents declared Moldovan nationality, whereas 7% declared Romanian nationality. There are also opinion polls asking whether the respondent would like Moldova and Romania to unite. No more than 20-30% provide positive answers. However, the trend is going upwards.