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50 bani, 1 leu, 10 and 100 lei 2018 - Union of Basarabia - 100 Years
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23.75 mm diameter, 6.1 g, brass - 80% copper, 15% zinc, 5% nickel, flat edge, with inscription ROMANIA (two times)
Obverse: ROMANIA, coat of arms of Romania, face value 50 BANI, year 2018, an image of the "Sfatul Țării" building in Chișinău, where, on 27th of March 1918, the Union of Basarabia with Romania was voted, and a fragment from the declaration of the Union
Reverse: portraits of three personalities that signed the Union: Ion Inculeț, president of "Sfatul Țării", Pantelimon Halippa, vice-president, and Ion Buzdugan, secretary, inscriptions "100 DE ANI DE LA UNIREA BASARABIEI CU ROMANIA" and "27 Martie 1918" meaning "100 YEARS SINCE THE UNION OF BASARABIA WITH ROMANIA" and "22TH OF MARCH 1918"

Issuing date: 26th of March 2018

Mintage: 5000 coins

37 mm diameter, 23.5 g, coppered tombac, reeded edge
Obverse: ROMANIA, coat of arms of Romania, face value 1 LEU, year 2018, an image of the "Sfatul Țării" building in Chișinău, where, on 27th of March 1918, the Union of Basarabia with Romania was voted, and a fragment from the declaration of the Union
Reverse: portraits of three personalities that signed the Union: Ion Inculeț, president of "Sfatul Țării", Pantelimon Halippa, vice-president, and Ion Buzdugan, secretary, inscriptions "100 DE ANI DE LA UNIREA BASARABIEI CU ROMANIA" and "27 Martie 1918" meaning "100 YEARS SINCE THE UNION OF BASARABIA WITH ROMANIA" and "22TH OF MARCH 1918"

Issuing date: 26th of March 2018

Mintage: 200 coins (sets only)

37 mm diameter, 31.103 g, 99.9% silver, reeded edge
Obverse: ROMANIA, coat of arms of Romania, face value 10 LEI, year 2018, an image of the "Sfatul Țării" building in Chișinău, where, on 27th of March 1918, the Union of Basarabia with Romania was voted, and a fragment from the declaration of the Union
Reverse: portraits of three personalities that signed the Union: Ion Inculeț, president of "Sfatul Țării", Pantelimon Halippa, vice-president, and Ion Buzdugan, secretary, inscriptions "100 DE ANI DE LA UNIREA BASARABIEI CU ROMANIA" and "27 Martie 1918" meaning "100 YEARS SINCE THE UNION OF BASARABIA WITH ROMANIA" and "22TH OF MARCH 1918"

Issuing date: 26th of March 2018

Mintage: 200 coins (sets only)

37 mm diameter, 31.103 g, 99.9% silver, reeded edge
Obverse: ROMANIA, coat of arms of Romania, face value 100 LEI, year 2018, an image of the "Sfatul Țării" building in Chișinău, where, on 27th of March 1918, the Union of Basarabia with Romania was voted, and a fragment from the declaration of the Union
Reverse: portraits of three personalities that signed the Union: Ion Inculeț, president of "Sfatul Țării", Pantelimon Halippa, vice-president, and Ion Buzdugan, secretary, inscriptions "100 DE ANI DE LA UNIREA BASARABIEI CU ROMANIA" and "27 Martie 1918" meaning "100 YEARS SINCE THE UNION OF BASARABIA WITH ROMANIA" and "22TH OF MARCH 1918"

Issuing date: 26th of March 2018

Mintage: 200 coins (sets only)


Creation of Sfatul Țării (i.e. Council of the Land)

The Congress of the Moldavian Soldiers from Basarabia, held at Chișinău between the 20th and the 25th of October 1917 and led by captain Vasile Cijevschi, was concluded with several resolutions. The 5th Resolution consisted in the establishment of Sfatul Țării (Council of the Land) for governing of Basarabia. The Moldavians were to hold 84 seats (70%) while the other kins in Basarabia altogether were to hold 36 seats (30%). For the Moldavians beyond River Nistru (in Transnistria, outside Basarabia) 10 additional seats were reserved provided they would have liked to join.

Opening of Sfatul Țării

Prima ședință a Sfatului Țării a avut loc la Chișinău pe 21 noiembrie 1917. Refugiatul bucovinean George Tofan a asistat la acest eveniment istoric și a lăsat mărturii neprețuite asupra primei ședințe:

"...The oldest of age of the deputies, N. N. Alexandri, holding the presidential seat, addresses the attendance with the following words: << Messrs Deputies! I declare the meeting of the Sfatului Țării open. >>

Just as after a given signal, all deputies and the public rise and, franticly applauding, cry: << Long live autonomous Basarabia! Long live democracy! Long live the Moldavian Republic! >>

The choir executes again the anthem <<Deșteaptă-te, române>>[1] [Wake up, Romanian!]. PIn the eyes of many tears are seen, some weep. Refugees cover their faces with handkerchiefs. The president, biting his lips, tries to hold one's tears. Archimandrite Gurie, deputy Pelivan, Mrs deputy Alistar and many others weep as babies." [1]

Ion Inculeț was elected president.

Meeting on March 27th 1918

To this festive meeting a delegation from Romania (with actual capital city in Ia?i) was invited, a delegation led by prime minister Alexandru Marghiloman.

Here is how Constantin Kirițescu [2, p. 257] described this event: "In the preparation and conclusion of the great act of April 9th Constantin Stere took part as well [former rector of the University in Iași]. Having arrived at Chișinău, from the German occupied territory, with support of German authorities and Marghiloman government, in the eve of the historical meeing of Sfatul Țării, he was at once received in the position of deputy in the Sfat, as native of the land and old Basarabian fighter. Stere brought great service to the Union through his personal authority which he enjoyed amid young Basarabian fighters, whose mentor he had been, as well as through the persuasion capability of his speeches, held in Romanian and as well in Russian."

Here follows a fragment Constantin Stere's speech:

"Ousted from my native land by the blind power of the czarist despot, today I am once more brought here by the will of the liberated people. [...] The Romanian people did not come to Basarabia from abroad, yet here it was born, here lay that cauldron into which all those elements from which the Romanian people was born boiled and melted. There is nowhere we can go and nobody can banish us from our house. An endless century, we, bowed down, silent, aware of our weakness, we carried the yoke, an entire century our language was prohibited, an entire century the book in the native language was persecuted as a revolutionary poison."

Here is a fragment in the discourse of Ion Buzdugan:

"Entire world shall know that we want the union of all Romanians, on this side of Prut and on the other side of the Carpathins into a Great Romania, one and undivided, and on the basis of the principle proclaimed by the revolution, of self determination of the peoples, today, Messrs deputaties, we are called to perpetrate the most revolutionary act in the history of our people long trialed by suffering, - let us vote the Union of Basarabia with Romania."

"May our people, our country and the entire world know that we, Romanian Basarabians, that suffered an entire century under the Russian czarist yoke, want the union with the brothers beyond Prut, that we wish to be and remain forever with all the Romanians."

A special position from the minorities in the Parliament was the one of the Pole Felix Dudchievicz, a position more than worth being recalled:

"I regret much that in this solemn day for the Moldavian population, I must speak Russian, which is the symbol of oppression for the Moldavian people as it is for the Polish one: I do not know the Moldavian language, and the Moldavians would not understand Polish.

In this majestic day, I wormly salute the unhappy and in the same time happy, fraternized Moldavian people, that finally is able to join the blood related Romanian people.

On the behalf of the Polish people I support entirely the Union of Basarabia with Romania, as this is desired by the Moldavians, native inhabitants of this country."

The essence of the decision is found concentrated in the beginning of the resolution subjected on March 27th / April 9th to the vote of the Basarabian Parliament:

"On the behalf of the people of Basarabia, the Council of the Land declares:

The Democratic Moldavian Republic (Basarabia), in its boundaries between Prut, Nistru, the Black Sea and the old boundaries with Austria, ripped by Russia a hundred years and even more ago from the body of the old Moldavia, in the reason of historical right and right of strain, on the basis of the principle that peoples alone shall decide their fate, from today on and forever joins its mother Romania."

The result of the vote was conclusive: 86 for, 3 against, 36 abstained, 13 were absent. As the result was being read, the deputies cried "Long live the Union with Romania!", carried away with enthusiasm in rapturous applauses. Let us remember the names of those deputies present there who accomplished the great act of historical justice.


1. Nicolae Alexandri
2. Elena Alistar
3. Ion Buzdugan
4. Ilarion Buiuc
5. Constantin Bivol
6. Ignație Budișteanu
7. Teodor Bîrcă
8. Nicolae Bosie-Codreanu
9. Ștefan Botnarciuc
10. Gheorghe Buruiană
11. Teodosie Bîrcă
12. Vladimir Bogos
13. Vladimir Budescu
14. Alexandru Baltag
15. Ion Valuță
16. Nicolae Grosu
17. Vasile Gafencu
18. Simeon Galițchi
19. Vasile Ghențul
20. Andrei Găină
21. Alexandru Groapă
22. Dimitrie Dragomir

23. Felix Dudchievicz
24. Dimitrie Dron
25. Boris Epure
26. Pantelimon Erhan
27. Vitalie Zubac
28. Ion Ignatiuc
29. Ion Inculeț
30. Teofil Ioncu
31. Anton Crihan
32. Ion Creangă
33. Afanasie Chiriac
34. Dimitrie Cărăuș
35. Ion Corduneanu
36. Grigorie Cazacliu
37. Anton Caraiman
38. Pavel Cocarlă
39. Ion Costin
40. Vladimir Ciorescu
41. Grigorie Cazacliu
42. Vladimir Cazacliu
43. Vasile Lascu


44. Nicolae Mămăligă
45. Mihail Minciună
46. Anatolie Moraru
47. Alexandru Moraru
48. Dimitrie Marța
49. Gheorghe Mare
50. Mihail Maculețchi
51. Dimitrie Marghitan
52. Teodor Neaga
53. Gheorghe Năstas
54. Constantin Oșoian
55. Gherman Pîntea
56. Vasile Mândrescu
57. Ion Pelivan
58. Efimie Palii
59. Ion Pascăluță
60. Petru Picior-Mare
61. Elefterie Siniclie
62. Nicolae Suruceanu
63. Timofte Silitari
64. Chiril Sberea


65. Nicolae Sacară
66. Andrei Scobioală
67. Chiril Spinei
68. Gheorghe Stavro
69. Teodor Suruceanu
70. Gheorghe Tudor
71. Ion Tudose
72. Grigore Turcuman
73. Teodor Uncu
74. Pantelimon Halipa
75. Teodor Herța
76. Leonida Țurcan
77. Vasile Țanțu
78. Nicolae Cernăuțeanu
79. Nicolae Ciornei
80. Vasile Cijevschi
81. Vasile Cerescu
82. Nicolae Cernof
83. Nicolae Soltuz
84. Constantin Stere
85. Zamfir Munteanu
86. Iacov Sucevan

After the Union

Constantin Stere was thenafter chosen president of Sfatul Țării in the stead of Ion Inculeț (1884-1940), who had resigned after the Union in order to enter the Romanian government in Iași as minister for Basarabia. Stere a exercised this high function between April 2nd and November 25th 1918 (old calendar).

As result of Constantin Stere's resignation, Pantelimon Halippa became president of Sfatul Țării. In this position Halippa led the meeting of 26th to 27th of November 1918 during which the agrarian law was voted and right after that the renunciation to the conditionalities to the Union specified at March the 27th same year was performed.

Building of Sfatul Țării

Sfatul Țării had as seat the building of the no 3 Boy Gymnasium in Chișinău.

Starting with 1933, inside the former Sfatul Țării building the Agricultural Sciences Faculty of Ia?i with the seat in Chișinău was located.

Nowadays the building keeps on standing despite aspect modification, on the high end of Sfatul Țării street, as seat of the Music, Theatre and Fine Arts Academy in the Republic of Moldavia.

At the right side of the main entrance of the Academy of Music, Theatre and Fine Arts in Chișinău is placed an effigy of Pantelimon Halippa.


References

1. Țurcanu I., Papuc M., Basarabia în actul Marii Uniri de la 1918, Editura Știința, Chișinău, 2017.

2. Kirițescu C., Istoria războiului pentru întregirea României 1916-1919. Vol. II, Editura Științifică și Enciclopedică, București, 1989.

Notes

[1] One may thus learn that the history of the old Transylvanian song as national anthem started at Chișinău. "Deșteaptă-te, române" is the national anthem of Romania starting with 1990. For a fair stretch of time it became, for a second time in Basarabia, national anthem of the Republic of Moldavia in 1991. An official diplomatic visit exist at the beginning of which the anthem "Deșteaptă-te, române" was song twice in a row, thus honoring the two Romanian states and presindents Ion Iliescu (Romania) and Mircea Snegur (Republic of Moldavia).


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