A Romanian surprise

Everybody is giddy. In Bucharest, that is. Basescu is the new president of Romania. As a result, the marriage of PSD and PUR suddenly went sour and PUR announced that for “the good of the country” they would consider a coalition with other partners too.


The next days should be interesting.

The voter turnout seemed huge yesterday. It didn’t look much like a Sunday on the streets, and Bucharest is strongly pro-Basescu. (Basescu is the mayor of Bucharest.) So I’m surprised, but not very surprised.

I’ve hardly ever seen so many happy faces on the streets like today. Nice.


I’m writing from Bucharest, Romania. The Romanians haven’t shown a lot of interest in what’s happening in Ukraine. Oh, they’re following it, but it doesn’t seem to grab their imagination. Part of this, I think, is because they’re distracted — they have a big election of their own, for Parliament and the Presidency, this weekend. And, too, Romanians consider themselves “part of Europe”, while Ukraine is seen as outside. But whatever the reason, they don’t seem too interested.

Except for one detail.

Apparently Yanukovic and his supporters have been busing thousands of coal miners into the capital. Every Romanian that I’ve talked to has commented on this.

Why? Well, you have to know a little recent Romanian history.

Bucharest, 1991:
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