The impoverished, corrupt former Soviet state has erupted over a banking fraud that saw $1B disappear from the system, presumably into the offshore accounts of President Nicolae Timofti and his elite cronies.
The demonstrations were larger than those that attended the collapse of the former Communist government. The fraud has resulted in mass inflation and rapid devaluation of Moldova's currency.
Tens of thousands of protesters come out in #Moldova against 'mafia' government http://t.co/63Hl1vNO0Z via @ASLuhn pic.twitter.com/NltmcuSnMk
— Christopher Miller (@ChristopherJM) September 6, 2015
It has also tarnished the image of the pro-Europe ruling class for ordinary Moldovans, many of whom struggle to get by on a family income of about $300 a month, though many protesters carried pro-EU flags indicating that they were not against the country's policy of European integration.
Protesters, who directed much of their verbal fire at the country's super-wealthy oligarchs who control key sectors of the economy, threatened to stage a non-stop demonstration in central Chisinau until their demands were met.
"Dictatorship does not sleep. It is quaking with fear, doing everything it can to stop people from all regions coming here to the capital, Chisinau," said one organizer, Valentin Dolganiuc, speaking from a tribune.
"But we, tens of thousands of ordinary people, have come here to triumph and we shall," he said.
Moldova banking scandal fuels biggest protest ever [Reuters/Euroactiv]
(via Naked Capitalism)