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Xenophobic Rhetoric

Xenophobic Rhetoric

Basically xenophobic statements by representatives of the authorities and journalists were mainly Russophobic.

President of the Academy of Sciences of Moldova, Gheorghe Duca, on January 16 at the government session, expressed his dissatisfaction with the Russian speech of the Gagauzian governor, Mihail Formuzal. "Let the governor speak Romanian," – Duka stated.

On February 6, during the meeting of the Parliamentary Committee on Education an MP from the Liberal Party, Ana Gutu said that the educational Russian speaking institutions should not be financed from the state budget. According to the deputy, the school in which the tuition is conducted in the language of national minorities, should be established on the basis of private income, due to that being allegedly the European practice.

On April 11, the chairman of the Liberal Party Mihai Ghimpu demanded that foreign investors stop having paperwork in Russian in Moldova.

The second objective of the xenophobic statements is the Moldovan language. The governmental followers of unionism want to replace it with the Romanian, and as for the Moldovan state itself, they are willing to "dissolve" it in Romania. Here are some of them:

On January 24, it was announced that the first vice-chairman of the Liberal Party of Chisinau Mayor Dorin Chirtoaca said at the ceremony in Iasi dedicated to the anniversary of the unification of the Principalities of his belief that the Republic of Moldova is moving towards accession to Romania.

On February 25, Ghimpu said during the Publika TV channel broadcast that he went by the provisions of the Romanian and not the Moldovan Constitution.

On March 15, the President of the Republic of Moldova Nicolae Timofti said that the Romanian language will be the official language of the Republic of Moldova in an interview Adevarul. On March 28, during a meeting of Parliament Ana Gutu congratulated all her colleagues with the 95th anniversary of the signing of the decision of Sfatul Tarii on the accession of Bessarabia to Romania celebrated on March 27. Ms. Gutu said that after the unification in 1918, the economy began to grow rapidly, developing education and other areas. "Later it was exactly the progress of the development that allowed us to survive the Soviet occupation" - Gutu summed up.

On September 11, during the ceremony in the Peles castle in Sinaia where D. Chirtoaca received dynastic award of the royal house of Romania, he said that his goal was "to correct injustice of 1939, of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact", which resulted in Moldova gaining its statehood as a Soviet republic.

The representatives of the LGBT community have also been attacked. On May 23, an MP and the leader of the party "Renastere" (Rebirth) Vadim Mishin supported the demand of the Synod of the Orthodox Church of Moldova to repeal the provision of equality, which prohibits discrimination against LGBT. "Despite the fact that the law is in line with the European standards and legal norms in principle, there is no way it should be implemented in Moldova, because it is contrary to the spirit of our deeply religious Orthodox people," - Mishin said. According to him, an attempt to comply with the European emissaries' demands "dictating the rules in the country" with whatever means necessary, only confirms the disturbing trend to pass laws that " are contrary to common sense, the institution of the family, and, of course, that support the depopulation of the country and its spiritual death".

The cases of anti-Semitic remarks on behalf of Moldovan politicians and public figures have been reported. On April 11, The only deputy who refused to stand up from his seat during the declared minute of silence of the Jewish pogrom in Chisinau of April 7, 1903 was a member of the Liberal faction Anatol Arhire.

On September 10, it became known that the former Moldovan Prime Minister Ion Sturza accused the current government of having a dubious deal with the Jews during a television talk show. On September 1, 2014, Liberal MP Valeriu Saharneanu appeared on Voice of Bessarabia radio, where he stated that Russia is “encouraging the Russian-speaking population to ignore the official language of the state of which they consider themselves citizens” and “arranges them in parties and organisations that preach blatant insubordination, promising military support if necessary”. Saharneanu added that Russian-speakers are thus turned into a “fifth column” who hate the people of this land, their language and customs”.

Speaking at an anti-racism round table in Cisinau, Vice Chairman of the Parliamentary Commission for Education and Media and Liberal MP Korina Futu said that Russians consider themselves “privileged” in Moldova and that their “imperialistic mind-set” cannot be changed. She then added that besides this, in terms of discrimination “all is well in Moldova”.

On January 3, Former Prime Minister Mircea Druc stated in an interview with Ziare.com that Romania should abolish the name “Moldova” on the former MSSR territory, since the name “Moldova” “reanimates the imperial approach and undermines our legitimate aspirations” for unification with Romania. He proposes to write “Former Soviet Republic of Moldova”, similar to Macedonia. Mircea Druc also accused the Russian Orthodox Church of obstructing the way towards European integration. In his view, “we are in a situation of 1812, when the Tsarist armies liberated us from the Osman Empire. Today, the very numerous and rich clergy of oligarch Russia wants to get the hearts and minds of Bessarabians.”

On May 12, Director of Timpul newspaper Constantin Tanase called activists of the Russian Youth League “cattle”, after they unfurled the largest St. George ribbon in the world in Chisinau. “Tomorrow [they] will take up arms and will shoot those who resist manipulations”.

On June 27, Constantin Tenase published an article “Declaring War Today: either – or”, where he called the Russian-speaking minority one of the main diseases in the society. On August 4, TIMPUL newspaper published an article, “A letter to those who were born after 1990 – everything about the lie”. Author Constantin Tenase stated that Moldova was split by the “Russian lie” since 1991.

There have been some manifestations of xenophobia amongst the opposition. On September 15, politician and entrepreneur Renato Usaty offensively spoke of former Prime Minister Vlad Filat, calling him a “dirty gypsy”.

In 2021, President Maia Sandu actively joined the campaign to change the law of the state language of the country from Moldovan to Romanian. "In the constitution, the state language in Moldova is called Moldovan, but according to the decision of the Constitutional Court (CC), it is Romanian," Sandu said speaking at PACE. Disputes over the name of the language in Moldova have not subsided since 1989, when, in the wake of perestroika, at the request of the creative intelligentsia, the parliament proclaimed Moldovan the state language and translated it into Latin script instead of the previously used Cyrillic alphabet. At the same time, the holiday "Our Language" was established, the name was given to it by the poem of the same name by the classic of Moldavian literature Alexei Mateevich (1888-1917), who was a military priest of the Russian Imperial Army. In 1994, this poem became the text of the national anthem.

In 2013, these disputes flared up with renewed vigor after the Constitutional Court of the republic proclaimed Romanian as the official language, referring to the "prevalence" of the text of the Declaration of Independence of Moldova, which mentioned the Romanian language, over the main law. At the same time, the relevant changes were not made to the basic law, and the problem of the name of the language spoken by Moldovans remains one of the causes of tension in society. In 2017, the Constitutional Court once again confirmed its decision by satisfying the opinion of a group of MPs from right-liberal parties. Nevertheless, the left opposition in the country's highest legislative body blocked this decision.

The problem of language can have far-reaching consequences, as it is associated with the right-wing radical movement for unification with Romania, which is opposed not only by a significant part of the elite, but also by the majority of representatives of national minorities. The inclusion of Sandu, who also has Romanian citizenship, in this confrontation made many think about the true intentions of the country's president.

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