Note from LeftEast editors: This text was originally published by Bilten When the French European parliamentary group that includes Emmanuel Macron’s party expressed its support for the Romanian Laura Codruța Kövesi rather than the French Jean-François Bohnert for the position of European Public Prosecutor, it became clear that very little could stand between Romania’s chief figure of the anti-corruption fight and the coveted European position. The job is still a work in progress, to be officially created next year, but the competition for it is practically over: Kövesi remains the sole candidate, enjoyin ..
Romania’s main political battles for this year, or at least its most violent and its most consequential, will unfold in what will apparently be dry technical discussion about interbank rates, just as seemingly neutral actors like the Central Bank will play an essential role in this year’s elections. Continue reading →
This article has been published in collaboration with Bilten. According to the Eurostat statistics for 2016, one third of all farms in the EU can be found in Romania- roughly 3,600 thousand agricultural holdings. Similarly, the country boasts the largest share of labor force employed in agriculture in the EU, a staggering 26% of the population working in the sector, way beyond any possible European average. By contrast, France features a puny 2.14 %, Croatia, 9.16 %, and Poland 11.5 %. Even compared with non-EU European countries, the figures are outstanding: only 6.71 % of Russia’s labor force is employed in a ..
This article has been published in collaboration with the Bilten regional platform. The illusion of the “private vs. public” opposition A flurry of irate opinions, fuming comments, and angry analyses have emerged in Romania’s liberal press once the Social-Democratic Prime-Minister, Mihai Tudose, announced in late August, under rather vague terms, his Cabinet’s intentions to reform the pension system. The debate developed into a strange public fray, mixing economic fears, fiscal fatalism, and demographic concerns; a discursive potion which is unfortunately representative of the manner in which the pension ..
This text was first published in Serbo-Croatian by Bilten. On the 25th-28th of May, and with the official support of the Hungarian government, Budapest was the place to be for all those keen on defending “the traditional family”. Called the “Budapest Family Summit,” the event occasioning this huge congregation of patriarchy enthusiasts, was a massive gathering. It featured an impressive array of right-wing organizations tied together by a rather explicit anti-abortion, anti-gay rights rhetoric, along with their commitment to the patriarchal family and Christian faith. Among them one could find the Croatia ..
Introduction and Context The Two Revolutions The following text is a short fragment of an eye-witness account of the 1917 Revolutions: Voicu Nițescu’s Twenty Months in Russian and Siberia published in Brașov (Romania) in 1926. The book, a rather long-winded work of three volumes, is not the work of an enthusiast: there is hardly any sympathy in it for the February Revolution, let alone Red October. One would search in vain for the heroic undertones of John Reed’s writings or for its stern fervour. For Nițescu, when not a dreadfully murderous enterprise, the Revolution was just a sure recipe for disaster ..
(Review: From #BlackLivesMatter to Black Liberation, by Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor, Haymarket Books: 2015. ) Real America has a Romanian accent and lives in Prague In Eastern Europe there is a specific way in which the class relations and social transformations which have moulded US politics get lost in a glazed landscape of critical opacity. Within the region’s public sphere, underpinned by its “civil society” ethos, the protests, police violence and urban inequalities characterizing the US in the last decades are usually swept under the blanket with a clear conscience and an unwavering journalistic hand. Par ..