By replacing ‘Moldovan language’ with ‘Romanian’ in the country’s constitution, Moldova’s ruling party hopes to shore up its pro-European tilt.
Abill to enshrine Romanian as the official language of Moldova in the country’s constitution, replacing ‘Moldovan’, is expected to pass a second and final reading in parliament on Thursday, in a symbolic expression of the country’s European ambitions that has angered pro-Russian parties.
The ruling Action and Solidarity Party, PAS, which introduced the bill, says it will right an historic wrong inflicted on Moldova under the Soviet Union, when Moscow sought to impose the notion of a ‘Moldovan language’ – written in Cyrillic – on a people that overwhelmingly spoke Romanian.
The idea was to burnish the sense of a Moldovan identity after the Soviets annexed what was then known as Bessarabia from Romania at the end of World War Two. Most of Moldova had been annexed by Tsarist Russia in 1812 and was part of the Russian empire until the end of World War One, when it voted to unite with Romania.