Romanian TV anchor’s comments spark fury in Moldova

Romanian TV anchor’s comments spark fury in Moldova


By Daniel Stroe – Bucharest

A protest was held last night by a Romanian-Moldovan association in front of the B1 TV station in downtown Bucharest after one of its anchors raised a wave of criticism and indignation following offending remarks against Moldovan people and politicians.

In his press review late night show, Radu Banciu said last week that the Modovan PM Iurie Leanca is a “nobody”. He then went on to denigrate the Moldovan people. “Generally, Moldova is just like a Romanian gypsy who begs on Champs-Elysees. This is Moldova. A peasant or a gypsy, as you wish, who has done nothing else but to beg before Romania ever since we can remember” Banciu said.

B1 TV was fined 10,000 lei (about 2,200 Euros) by the state audio-visual regulator CAN following these comments deemed discriminatory.

His statements spurred heavy criticism from Moldovans both in Romania and at home. Reacting to Banciu’s words, Adrian Candu, deputy speaker of the Moldovan Parliament called him a “sick man, with complexes and frustrations, problems dating back to his childhood”.  He said he was expecting an apology from Banciu, but invited him to visit Moldova “if he still got the guts to do it”.

At the same time, Moldovan bloggers excoriated Banciu while the news websites in Moldova teemed with tough comments against the TV anchor. One of them published Banciu’s mobile number and asked Moldovans to send an avalanche of SMS-es while another one changed Banciu’s profile on Wikipedia, calling him a “savage pig” and the “enemy of all Moldovans”. A flurry of reactions also followed on Facebook.

The topic is even more sensitive since about 1,500 Moldovan students study in Romania thanks to the Romanian state subsidized scholarships while about 400,000 Moldovans have received the Romanian citizenship.