Publication: Monitor Volume: 4 Issue: 228

Interviewed in the latest issue of the Chisinau weekly “Saptamina,” President Petru Lucinschi is urging the population of Moldova to unite around the idea of “European patriotism.” According to Lucinschi, Moldova’s ethnically diverse society can find a basis for civic consensus in this “new idea of patriotism, which holds that we are masters in our own home and, at the same time, citizens of a Greater Europe…. Even as we debate whether we are Moldovans or Romanians, even as ethnic Romanianism confronts civic Moldovanism, Europe unites. We ought to unite as well in the awareness that we belong to European civilization in spite of our internal differences” (Saptamina cited by Infotag, December 4).

Ethnic Moldovans, 65 percent of the country’s population, are for the most part traditionally averse to Romanianism. At the same time, influential intellectual groups in Chisinau propagate the Romanian national idea with some support from neighboring Romania. On the other hand, a part of the urban Russian/”Russian-speaking” population tends to gravitate toward Russia culturally and politically. Moreover, Transdniester authorities openly favor restoration of the USSR or a Greater Russia. Some other local ethnic groups keep to parochial identities. These internal cracks immensely complicate the leadership’s task to create a post-Soviet civic and national consensus. Lucinschi’s plea for identification with Greater Europe is meant to offset the conflicting and divisive appeals of Greater Romania and Greater Russia, respectively, to sections of Moldova’s society.