Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Ce s-a intimplat cu suarma mea?

Often, the Moldovan government and police force give the impression of being corrupt. They systematically stop transport drivers and extort bribes from them. The Communist party purportedly bought votes to re-elect President Vladimir Voronin. All independent journalists in the country were fired years ago.

That's why it was nice to see that Moldovan officials took a stand against corruption and would no longer tolerate unsanitary conditions in restaurants. Well, make that all restaurants making Middle-Eastern food and owned by Turkish, Syrian or Lebanese businessmen.

Over the course of the past several months, every kebab stand in Chisinau has been shut down, as well as the popular Lebanese restaurant Class. This is supposedly due to health violations, but a quick survey of other restaurants in Chisinau shows that if these businesses are guilty of health violations, there are plenty of other restaurants that also deserve to be shut down.

Kebab stands were a growing and successful business in Chisinau. They provided flavorful wraps of meat, cabbage, tomatoes, pickles, french fries and sauce for less than two dollars. They were the tastiest bang for the buck available in Chisinau. But evidently, they didn't pay enough to the Russian mafia.

This time, corruption has punched me right in the stomach. Corrupt Moldovan officials don't realize that they are biting the hand that feeds them; Moldova needs foreign investment in order to grow, and sending these Middle-Easterners back to their home countries with stories of Moldovan corruption doesn't help raise the nation out of poverty.

Sadly, it's just another instance of Moldovan bureaucrats looking out for themselves instead of actually helping their country. No wonder the teenagers at English camp last week had such negative sentiments about democracy.


At 5:07 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's a pity, though not entirely surprising, as you note. A former PCV, I have such fond memories of Class restaurant and of the waitstaff there. Thanks for the interesting blog.

At 10:49 PM, Blogger Lucia said...

Although I'd like to know some facts, this indeed sounds like a 'selective' treatment on behalf of the state authorities.

At 9:46 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What...no more Class??? I guess I left just in time. It is good to read your blogs as I am overcoming my Moldova withdrawals. Chris


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