What Gives in Moldova?

Only last week, following the Russian decision to turn of Moldova’s gas supply along with Ukraine, Alex and I were asking ourselves the question: whatever happened to Moldova.

Well here comes the answer, from Randy McDonalds Live Journal, they are either growing wine or leaving it seems:

Moldova, as it happens, shares with Georgia a long tradition of wine-growing, something that ensured Moldova a prestigious position in the domestic wine supplies of the former Soviet Union….

Why wouldn’t mass emigration be a perfectly rational solution for Moldovans tired of their poverty? Moldova’s work force might be depleted, true, but the Moldovans abroad enjoy higher living standards while the Moldovans remaining behind benefit from the fact that their country stands just behind Tonga in the percentage of its GDP derived from remittances, in Moldova’s case by the million or so people scattered across the Russian Federation, Romania, Turkey, and southern Europe.

This sort of mass emigration isn’t going to help Moldova develop securely, though. It will help Moldova become a depopulated periphery, true, with its potential work force gone off to work in larger and wealthier countries,
leaving the old behind to tend the country through its collapse, but it won’t help Moldova grow.

Randy also makes a very positive comparison between Estonia’s recent history and what just happened to Ukraine.