Unrest in Moldova’s second largest city of Balti: journalist injured, people arrested
Some 600 police officers could hardly handle the unrest that took place today in Moldova’s second largest city of Balti. Two major groups were present in the Central Square of the city. Some were part of the unionist group – “Action 2012” - which organized a peaceful march demanding reunification of Moldova with Romania as it was from 1918 to 1940. They came from Moldova’s capital of Chisinau, as well as from Romania.
The second group came to counter-protest the march of the unionists (the ones willing reunification with Romania). Mainly Russian speakers, the protesters tried to enter the unionists’ group and break their flags and banners. The riot police intervened but violence was unavoidable. The sides clashed several times and some got injured. Part of the counter-protesters are members or supporters of the Socialist Party and Communist Party, as well as teenagers belonging to the young wing of these parties.
The anti-reunification faction became hostile and threw stones, eggs and tomatoes towards the West-leaning group. A journalist was injured and was taken to the hospital.
The police reported that over four thousand people were present there. They also said that several people have been detained and their actions are currently being investigated. Over 50 persons have been caught carrying prohibited materials. They have been confiscated and the persons were isolated from the Central Square to avoid any aggressive behavior.
Dorin Recean, the Minister of Interior told the media that all those who have committed violence will be held accountable.
Communist lawmaker Mark Tkaciuk said in Balti today that the ruling coalition’s decisions are “encouriging the Communists to embark in civil war,” but the “secular wisdom” prevents them from doing so.
A similar demonstration took place a week ago in Moldova’s southern city of Cahul where the representatives of the “Moldova’s Patriots” group clashed with the unionists.
The Moldovan society is quite divided when it comes to reunification with Romania. Some believe Moldova should re-unite with Romania as was the case from 1918 to 1940. Some think Moldova should not make themselves dependent on Romania or that Moldova should orient itself Eastward in hopes of restoring the former politics of the Soviet times. The anti-reunionist position is further reinforced by the reality that many Moldovans are Russian-speakers-only, and don’t have even a basic knowledge of the national language of Moldova – Romanian. Some are afraid that any attempts to get Moldova closer to Romania would involve forcing them to learn Romanian.Moldova.ORG