Romania is possibly the next country in line ripe for revolution and political change. The wave of discontent that originated with the Arab Spring in Tunisia and Egypt is spreading further north. Even Turkey is in a political dead lock with opposition parties trying to prevent Erdogan from becoming a permanent president as he changes laws to safe guard his power and handicap any challengers.
On to Romania, the strange thing about these situations is that it is often started over a small event, the last straw that broke the camels back. Despite the Romanian Prime Minister being investigated for corruption, it is the tragic accident of 41 people dying in a nightclub fire that has forced him to resign, not the corruption. It has also forced the resignation of the Mayor of Bucharest along with some other ministers. Yet even after the resignations people are still protesting in the streets tonight for perhaps the 4th night in a row.
Bulgaria, Romania’s neighbor, is also plagued by corruption and should they see success next door they may try to imitate and we’ll have European Spring 2.0. Other worrying signs in the region is the migrant crisis is putting a lot of pressure on the Balkan countries. Merkel herself has warned of a war if Austria closed their boarder. The Austrian Interior minister Johanna Mikl-Leitner said in an interview on Germany’s TV that “a fence is not a bad thing. Anyone who has a house, has a garden and a fence.” Merkel herself is facing growing domestic opposition over the migrant crisis.
Additionally keep your eyes on Serbia and Kosovo. Kosovo parliament members twice deployed tear gas over EU rules that allow Serb autonomy within areas of Kosovo.
In general, things need to get bad before they get better. If it wasn’t for oppressive kings, democracy would have never been born. If it wasn’t for a two horrible European wars, the continent may have never had the long duration of peace, and fraternity that it currently enjoys. But just like the dinosaurs, the ice age, rock and roll, and bell bottoms, nothing lasts forever.