Monday, December 10, 2007

The Chisinau Christmas Tree Saga

The saga continues! Oddly woven into a news article about how Chisinau City Hall is having its heat cut off, there is a long story about the Christmas tree. The English version is a little confusing.

Apparently, on Friday the mayor of Chisinau (a young, Western-minded, non-Communist) ordered a Christmas tree put up in the central square. The mayor had 3 youth from the Liberal Party guard the tree in his own personal car. He apparently anticipated trouble, as they were armed with video cameras.

The police (who knew whose car it was) came, arrested them, drove them around the city for hours and erased their video. The police also ordered the tree cut down and moved off the square. They placed it behind the Arc de Triumph across the street. Here's picture of where it is now. The youth were released, but may have suffered some emotional trauma: "(One of them) said that in such conditions the youth do not see any reason for remaining in the country, but, at the same time, they gained strength." The Mayor responds:

The Mayor described the given actions as “a gift made by the central authorities to the Chisinau residents on the International Human Rights Day”, which is celebrated on December 10. According to him, the three young men have been hostages of the government that does what it wants.

So... happy Human Rights Day! And, bah humbug!


Simona said...

I think the government wanted to demonstrate that he grants "equal rights" to those who celebrate Christmas and the New Year by the Old Calendar. Therefore, Tarlev settled the 2nd Christmas tree by the Government for Russians, while the mayor's tree is for Romanians.
Enjoy your stay there!

JTapp said...

Simona, thanks for the comment and for visiting our blog. I see you have a very impressive one yourself.