Balkans: December 18, 2003


A Moldovan think tank called United European Moldova (UEM) issued a new proposal for resolving the Transdniester conflict. Its interesting, and it demonstrates how fractured the little state is linguistically and ethnically. UEM suggested Moldova, with a population of 4.5 million, be divided into six regions, each with its own legislature, executive powers and judiciary. Transdniester and the Gaugauz-Yeri Autonomous Republic (where Gaugaz Turks live) would be two of the regions. This federal Moldova would be a permanently neutral nation that could not join any military alliance. As for the tricky language issue which always vexes Moldova, the official state language would be "Moldovan-Romanian (using the Latin alphabet). Russian, Ukrainian, Bulgarian and Gaugauz would be regarded as "regional languages." While this proposal might satisfy every groups demand for sufficient autonomy, it would also make Moldova a mini-Yugoslavia. Well see what kind of reaction the proposal gets from Moldovans as well as Romania and Russia. (Austin Bay)


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