Föhrenbergkreis Finanzwirtschaft

Unkonventionelle Lösungen für eine zukunftsfähige Gesellschaft

Posts Tagged ‘CEE’

Europas große Ost-West Spaltung

Posted by hkarner - 8. Mai 2019

Joschka Fischer was German Foreign Minister and Vice Chancellor from 1998-2005, a term marked by Germany’s strong support for NATO’s intervention in Kosovo in 1999, followed by its opposition to the war in Iraq. Fischer entered electoral politics after participating in the anti-establishment protests of the 1960s and 1970s, and played a key role in founding Germany’s Green Party, which he led for almost two decades.

BERLIN – Vor fünfzehn Jahren hat die große Osterweiterung der EU stattgefunden, begleitet von sehr viel Hoffnung und Optimismus. Man kann nicht gerade behaupten, dass sich seitdem Ost- und Westeuropa wirklich sehr viel näher gekommen sind, vor allem mental nicht.

Die materiellen Bedingungen sind dramatisch besser geworden, aber normativ und auch materiell scheint sich die Kluft Jahr um Jahr zu vertiefen. Osteuropa hat eine Massenauswanderung vor allem von jungen Menschen erlebt, die in manchen Ländern fast einer Entvölkerung gleichkommt. Andererseits haben diese Bevölkerungsbewegung und die damit einhergehenden finanziellen Rücktransfers in die jeweiligen Herkunftsländer erheblich zur wirtschaftlichen Verbesserung der Lage dort beigetragen.Bereits vor der großen Osterweiterung 2004 der EU taten sich deren alte Mitgliedstaaten auf zwei Gipfeln, nämlich denen von Amsterdam und Nizza extrem schwer, sich auf die neue Realität einer sehr viel größeren, osterweiterten EU einzulassen, und die gemeinsamen Institutionen sowie die Finanztransfers entsprechend anzupassen Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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In Europe’s Nationalist Hotbed, Slovakia Takes a Liberal Turn

Posted by hkarner - 2. April 2019

Tanks God! Is this the turn of the tide? The same is happening in Serbia. (hfk)

Date: 01-04-2019
Source: The Wall Street Journal

Zuzana Caputova, an environmental lawyer, is elected as first female president

Zuzana Caputova won an election to become Slovakia’s first female president on Saturday.

Slovakia elected its first female president, a liberal and pro-European anticorruption candidate whose rise is seen as a rebuke of the conservative nationalism remaking its larger neighbors.

Though the role of president in Slovakia is constitutionally limited, the victory of Zuzana Caputova was seen as a striking, if isolated political shift for Central and Eastern Europe, a region of former Communist countries that has been ground zero for a new nationalism spreading on the continent.

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban and Poland’s Law and Justice party have each managed to win sweeping majorities in their respective parliaments by promising to keep out Muslim immigrants and entrench Christian conservatism at home. A half dozen candidates made the same pledge during Slovakia’s first-round election, including Ms. Caputova’s chief rival.

In contrast, Ms. Caputova touted her social liberalism as proof that she was different from Slovakia’s political class, which has been inundated with corruption scandals. The environmental lawyer, who came to prominence when opposing the expansion of a landfill in her small town, promoted gay rights in a country with minimal support for same-sex marriage, and argued that Slovakia had some obligation to help its European neighbors by taking in refugees. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Geldwäscheskandal um Danske Bank erreicht Österreichs Institute

Posted by hkarner - 6. März 2019

Alexander Hahn, 5. März 2019, 17:55 derstandard.at

Laut einer Anzeige soll fast eine Milliarde Dollar über verdächtige Konten in Österreich geflossen sein. Der Großteil wird der Raiffeisen Bank zugerechnet

Wien – An der Börse wiegen die Vorwürfe bleischwer. In der Spitze um als 15 Prozent oder gut eine Milliarde Euro hat die Raiffeisen Bank International (RBI) am Dienstag an Wert verloren, nachdem Medien über eine mögliche Verwicklung des Instituts in den Geldwäscheskandal um die dänische Danske Bank berichtet hatten. Laut Informationen des Recherchenetzwerks Addendum und Profil sollen umgerechnet 967 Millionen Dollar an mutmaßlichem Schwarzgeld über Konten von heimischen Banken geflossen sein – davon 634 Millionen alleine im Hause Raiffeisen.

Auslöser war laut den Berichten, die auf geleakten Unterlagen beruhen, eine Anzeige der britischen Fondsfirma Hermitage Capital Management bei der Wiener Wirtschafts- und Korruptionsstaatsanwaltschaft. Diese richtet sich gegen „unbekannte Täter“. Allerdings erhebt Hermitage gegen die RBI-Vorgängerin Raiffeisen Zentralbank (RZB) darin schwere Vorwürfe. Die Staatsanwaltschaft prüft hinsichtlich eines Anfangsverdachts, ein Ermittlungsverfahren sei bisher nicht eröffnet worden.

Pflichten nicht Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Rhymes from Central Europe

Posted by hkarner - 16. Januar 2019

Robert Skidelsky, Professor Emeritus of Political Economy at Warwick University and a fellow of the British Academy in history and economics, is a member of the British House of Lords. The author of a three-volume biography of John Maynard Keynes, he began his political career in the Labour party, became the Conservative Party’s spokesman for Treasury affairs in the House of Lords, and was eventually forced out of the Conservative Party for his opposition to NATO’s intervention in Kosovo in 1999

The rise – or better, the return – of “illiberal democracy” in parts of Europe today surprises us, because it refutes the established narrative of progress. But what is odd is not the reappearance of ancient faiths and prejudices, but rather the liberal belief that they could so easily be overcome.

LONDON – On December 3, 2018, the Central European University announced that from September 2019 it would relocate most of its teaching from Budapest to Vienna. Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán’s government had, in effect, closed down the CEU, founded by Orbán’s favourite bogeyman, George Soros. “Arbitrary eviction of a reputable university is a flagrant violation of academic freedom,” declared the university’s rector, Michael Ignatieff. “It is a dark day for Europe and a dark day for Hungary.”

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The EU HAS to shift from unanimity to qualified-majority voting

Posted by hkarner - 6. Oktober 2018

(the fastest way to kick out the Eastern Europeans) 😒

Date: 04-10-2018
Source: The Economist
Subject: Gaining wisdom, marching forward

Chinese investment, and influence, in Europe is growing
The EU is, at last, beginning to take notice

UNDER the Renaissance ceiling of the Ball Games Hall in Prague Castle, Zhang Jianmin, the newly arrived Chinese ambassador to the Czech Republic, is quoting Xi Jinping, his president. “History always gives people the opportunity to gain wisdom and the power to march forward in some special years,” he says, declaring 2018 “just such a year”. It is four decades since China started its economic reforms, five years since it launched its Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) to knit together Eurasian economies, and thus a fine moment to accelerate the co-operation between his home and host countries.

The conference—billed as an educational event for Chinese investors—was co-hosted by the New Silk Road Institute Prague, a think-tank that describes its “fundamental mission” as “spreading the awareness about the concepts of New Silk Road in the Czech Republic and other European countries”. It is run by Jan Kohout, a former Czech foreign minister and an adviser to the Czech president, who used the event to extol the assets available for sale in his country. The mostly Chinese audience included influential Czechs, a former prime minister and a former industry minister among them. The tableau captured the essence of the blending of politics and commerce that marks China’s growing presence in the Czech Republic. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Wir müssen den Sumpf in der EU trockenlegen

Posted by hkarner - 5. Oktober 2018

Guy Verhofstadt, a former Belgian prime minister, is President of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe Group (ALDE) in the European Parliament and the author of Europe’s Last Chance: Why the European States Must Form a More Perfect Union.

STRASSBURG – Populistische Politiker stilisieren sich schon seit langem erfolgreich als Alternative zu einer „korrupten Elite“, die sich auf Kosten „des Volkes“ bereichert. Die Populisten behaupten, nur sie allein könnten wieder für Anstand in der Regierung sorgen. Oder wie Donald Trump es 2016 im US-Präsidentschaftswahlkampf formulierte: „Ich allein kann die Sache in Ordnung bringen.

Trump nutzte das populistische Drehbuch in umfassender Weise – angefangen damit, dass er seine Gegnerin als „Crooked Hillary“ (betrügerische Hillary) bezeichnete, bis hin zu dem Versprechen, er würde „den Sumpf trockenlegen“. Doch inzwischen sind seit Trumps Wahl fast zwei Jahre vergangen, seine Regierung trieft vor Skandalen, und der Sumpf ist tiefer und trüber denn je.

Populisten erfüllen selten ihre Versprechen, für eine saubere Regierung zu sorgen. Das hat einen einfachen Grund: Ihre wahre Priorität besteht darin, das System zum eigenen Profit auszunutzen. Dies wird in Mittel- und Osteuropa deutlich, wo die Mini-Trumps der Region über ihre eigenen Korruptionssümpfe walten. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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U.S. and EU—but Not Germany— Support Land Swap in Balkans

Posted by hkarner - 30. September 2018

Date: 29-09-2018
Source: The Wall Street Journal

Washington and Brussels favor Serbia and Kosovo redrawing their border along ethnic lines, an approach Berlin says would open Pandora’s box

BRUSSELS—U.S. and European Union leaders are converging toward supporting a plan under which two Balkan countries would redraw their fraught common border along ethnic lines, isolating Germany, the continent’s most influential power, in its rejection of that approach, a confidential document shows.

A recent memo by the EU’s foreign service about how to solve a decade-old standoff between Serbia and Kosovo, reviewed by The Wall Street Journal, shows the EU’s executive body has essentially adopted Washington’s argument and rejected Germany’s.

While the agreement indicates that Europe and the U.S. continue to work closely together on foreign-policy initiatives affecting the region, the rift with Germany also shows Washington’s willingness to ignore objections by the continent’s leading power in its own backyard. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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The Albanian Miracle

Posted by hkarner - 28. September 2018

Ricardo Hausmann, a former minister of planning of Venezuela and former Chief Economist of the Inter-American Development Bank, is Director of the Center for International Development at Harvard University and a professor of economics at the Harvard Kennedy School.

Once the „North Korea of Europe,“ Albania now boasts an income level that is 25% that of Germany, double-digit export growth, and a strengthening currency. This suggests that the economists and multilateral institutions now being blamed for all sorts of disappointing outcomes may not be entirely useless after all.

TIRANA – Five years ago, Albania faced a truly ominous situation. With Greece and Italy reeling from the euro crisis, remittances and capital inflows were falling and the economy suffered a severe slowdown. The fiscal deficit ballooned to over 7% of GDP, financed to a large extent by arrears, as access to external financial markets had collapsed and domestic interest rates were sky high.

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Labor Shortage Lifts Wages on Europe’s Eastern Flank

Posted by hkarner - 28. September 2018

Date: 27-09-2018
Source: The Wall Street Journal

Unlike in some Western economies, wages are rising fast as workers grow scarce in Hungary, Poland and the Czech Republic

BUDAPEST, Hungary—Akos Niklai says he has increased wages at his historic restaurant in downtown Budapest by around 20% in each of the past three years. He still struggles to retain staff.

The Hungarian businessman was recently forced to stop serving lunch on Sundays due to a worker shortage. Unemployment in this nation of 10 million people is at an all-time low of 3.6%, down from 10% five years ago.

“It is very hard to find labor in Budapest,” said Mr. Niklai. “Wages are still not high enough.”

In a half-dozen countries across Central and Eastern Europe, hourly labor costs are shooting up by 9% or more a year, defying a trend of weak wage growth that has bedeviled many advanced economies for years.

The increases seem to answer a question economists have been puzzling over for several years: Does low unemployment still cause wages to rise? Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Fresh Momentum for the Balkans

Posted by hkarner - 24. September 2018

Javier Solana was EU High Representative for Foreign and Security Policy, Secretary-General of NATO, and Foreign Minister of Spain. He is currently President of the ESADE Center for Global Economy and Geopolitics, Distinguished Fellow at the Brookings Institution, and a member of the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council on Europe.

There can be little doubt that the last few decades have brought more frustration than progress to the Balkans. It would be ironic and deeply gratifying to see a region wracked by ethnic nationalism build bridges when so many others are building walls.

MADRID – As autumn comes to Europe, it is time to reap the fruits of months of hard diplomatic work across the Balkan Peninsula. On September 30, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) will hold a consultative referendum that could lead the country to change its name to “Republic of North Macedonia.”

This is no mere linguistic exercise. If the referendum passes, it could put an end to 27 years of bickering between the Macedonian and Greek governments. Greece vehemently opposes its northern neighbor’s use of “Macedonia” without a qualifier, because a region in Greece bears the same name. Moreover, the ancient kingdom of Macedonia has great cultural and historical significance for modern-day Greeks. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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