Föhrenbergkreis Finanzwirtschaft

Unkonventionelle Lösungen für eine zukunftsfähige Gesellschaft

Posts Tagged ‘CEE’

The Survival of Democracy in Central and Eastern Europe

Posted by hkarner - 21. Oktober 2019

Sławomir Sierakowski, founder of the Krytyka Polityczna movement, is Director of the Institute for Advanced Study in Warsaw and Senior Fellow at the German Council on Foreign Relations.

Following parliamentary elections in Poland and local elections in Hungary, populist autocrats in both countries remain in power, where they will continue to undermine democratic institutions. Even so, relative victories for opposition forces in both countries show that the region’s „illiberal democrats“ are not unbeatable.

WARSAW – Is populism in Central and Eastern Europe finally losing its momentum? In Poland, opposition parties won the Senate, and the ruling Law and Justice (PiS) party’s share of the vote slipped to 43.7%, from 45.5% in European Parliament elections this past May. And in Hungary’s local elections, the opposition retook power in Budapest and won mayoral races in ten other cities.

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Central Europe’s Democratic Lesson

Posted by hkarner - 16. Oktober 2019

Date: 15-10-2019
Source: The Wall Street Journal By The Editorial Board

Voters in Poland and Hungary defy worries about authoritarian rule.

Since the fall of Communism, former Soviet satellites like Hungary and Poland have shown that countries burdened by a statist past can flourish as capitalist democracies. Today many in the West worry that Budapest and Warsaw are turning authoritarian again, but elections Sunday show democracy is still alive in both.

Poland’s conservative ruling Law and Justice party (PiS) won a little under 44% of the vote in Sunday’s high-turnout parliamentary elections. That’s a solid but still disappointing result for PiS. The party improved on its 2015 showing but is set to lose its majority in Parliament’s upper house and may need help from the far-right Confederation Party to form a government in the more important Sejm, or lower house. The opposition gained from four years ago but the main centrist group trailed by some 20 points. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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A wave of pro-democracy protests and elections sweeps the east of Europe

Posted by hkarner - 10. August 2019

Date: 09-08-2019
Source: The Economist: Charlemagne
Subject: The eastern summer

Europe is preparing to mark 30 years since the fall of communism. On August 19th Angela Merkel will travel to Sopron. With Viktor Orban, Hungary’s authoritarian prime minister, she will commemorate the anniversary of a peace protest on the border between Hungary and Austria that helped chisel the first chink in the Iron Curtain. The event will have a grotesque quality: a German chancellor celebrating the rebirth of democracy alongside a leader who is systematically dismantling democratic institutions in his country. And it will doubtless lift the curtain on an autumn of commentary lamenting the failed promise of 1989. Expect doleful references to Europe’s new east-west cleavage and sardonic asides about the predicted “end of history”.

The images from Sopron will not do central and eastern Europe justice. Democracy and liberal values have indeed come under attack in the region. The Economist Intelligence Unit (a sister of The Economist) finds that since 2006 democracy has deteriorated more there than in any other part of the world. And yet there have been quite a few glints of hope—especially in the past few months. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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The Lure of the West: Bosnia Feels the Pinch of Brain Drain to EU

Posted by hkarner - 8. August 2019

In Bosnia, thousands of people are learning German. With a lack of opportunity in their own country, talented young Bosnians are emigrating to what they hope will be a brighter future abroad. Entire towns have emptied out.

By Keno Verseck, spiegel.de
Young men learning German in the city of Jajce, Bosnia, as they prepare to move to a German-speaking country.

August 06, 2019 01:20 PM

This is the beginner’s course and most attendees barely speak any German yet, but they already know quite a few words that will be helpful to them later, like „diploma,“ „desired salary“ and „job application.“ Or they read sentences out loud, like: „Mr. Kindler would like to work in a garage as a mechanic.“

Josip Strkalj is sitting in the second row and concentrating on his class materials. The 24-year-old received his university degree in occupational safety engineering last year and is now eager to learn German. His goal is to emigrate to Germany, possibly as soon as just a few months from now. His girlfriend already lives there, in the city of Ulm. „No one pays attention to any rules in our country,“ he says. „I like Germany. I like that everything has its place and everything is predictable.“
Dragana Crnoja and her colleague Tarik Zjajo teach evening German classes for adults at the vocational school in Jajce, a town in central Bosnia. The classes, which take place several times a week, are extremely popular — because many from the town and the surrounding villages hope to emigrate to Germany or Austria. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Hungary’s Mafia State Fights for Impunity

Posted by hkarner - 20. Juni 2019

Bálint Madlovics

Bálint Madlovics is a fellow at the Financial Research Institute in Budapest.

Bálint Magyar, a former Hungarian minister of education, is a fellow at the Institute for Advanced Study at the Central European University in Budapest.

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán presides over a political-economic clan that is indistinguishable from a private criminal organization. Orbán’s anti-EU stance does not reflect a different vision of Europe. Rather, it stems from his need to insulate himself and his clan from law enforcement.

BUDAPEST – Hungary has become a . It is led not by a party but by Prime Minister Viktor Orbán’s political-economic clan, which treats society as its private domain while formally maintaining a democratic façade. The Hungarian state’s actions are not impersonal but rather discretionary, aimed at taking down the clan’s opponents and redistributing wealth and assets to loyalists. Orbán uses the bloodless means of bureaucratic coercion, yet still acts illegally: corruption and politically selective law enforcement are central to his system.

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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.

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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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