If my memory isn't playing any trick on me, this Sunday will mark five weeks since the beginning of the protests, held in the entire Romania, against the mining exploitation at Rosia Montana. I wrote less and protested a bit more. In times like these, the place to be, even more than behind the desk and writing articles about an injustice about to happen, is the street, protesting loud and clear against the injustice in question.
Unlike to many others, the amplitude of the protests - by far the most important in Romania since 1991 - was not - and is not - a surprise to me. Temperature in Romanian society has reached a climax. Most will probably disagree with me, but that happened for the first time in the winter of 2011 (with certain help from a important part of the media), and again this September (this time with no help at all). And if the demands of the people on the streets will not be met, this will certainly happen again. It is only a matter of time. And I'm not speaking about a long time, as a difficult winter awaits us just around the corner.
My bet is that politicians, no matter their political colour, will try to berry their heads in the sand as long as necessary, in order to promote as soon as possible the law allowing the exploitation at Rosia Montana, and thus ignore the tens of thousands of Romanians expressing their opposition in the street. The explanation for that is very simple: most of our parliamentary parties count on funding from RMGC in the next elections: presidential in 2014 and parliamentary in 2016. They also know that middle class protesting now is a difficult client when it comes to voting, so politicians imagine that they will be able to buy votes - like they did so far - by raising pensions or salaries.
I write this article in order to try to understand what will happen next. My scenario is this: people will go on rising on the streets against the project, but the parliament (and the government) will approve the law. Afterwards, everything will explode. We will not talk about blocking deputies and senators on the streets of Alba, like it happened a week ago, we will talk, probably, about people manifesting in the tens of thousands in front of the infamous Parliament Palace.
In my view, the key of the situation is here: today, it is very difficult to register a political party in Romania. It takes 25,000 signatures gathered in 20 counties (if my memories do not play me tricks) to do that. In a country like Romania, it is extremely harsh to meet this demand, and the result is that most citizens are not represented by the main political parties. This is a main deficiency of the political system. Will the protesters understand that the key demand is to modify this law, and ask for more democratic representation?
To be honest, and against my desire, I doubt it.
Nevertheless, the effort is splendid. And it is giving me hope.