Föhrenbergkreis Finanzwirtschaft

Unkonventionelle Lösungen für eine zukunftsfähige Gesellschaft

Posts Tagged ‘CEE’

Erste-Chef Treichl zum Abschied selbstkritisch

Posted by hkarner - 2. Dezember 2019

Und: wer hat die faulen Kredite hereingenommen? Und lange nicht als solche deklariert. Als die EZB das Asset Quality Review machte: Welche der 129 Banken hatte den grössten Korrekturbedarf von allen bei den Non-Performing-Loans. und das um 37 % (in Worten: siebenunddreissig!!!!) Ja, die Bank des Feuerwehrmanns (T’schuldigung: des Brandsgiffters!) hfk

Seit 1997 hat der 67-jährige Andreas Treichl die Erste Group geführt, nun geht der Volkswirt in Pension – und gibt sich zum Abschied selbstkritisch. Als die Finanzkrise 2008 begann „hatten wir jede Menge fauler Kredite“, so Treichl im Interview mit dem „Standard“.

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France Moves to Slow European Union’s Balkan Expansion

Posted by hkarner - 25. November 2019

Date: 24-11-2019
Source: The Wall Street Journal

Critics say French proposals could freeze out new members for a generation

BRUSSELS—A long-delayed European Union goal of expanding to include more countries in the western Balkans is slipping further out of reach following French moves to rework how new members join the bloc.

Talks to add Albania and countries from the former Yugoslavia have been stymied for years by wariness among current members over enlargement and slowness among candidates in implementing political and economic overhauls. Current political developments in the EU pose new threats to the vision.

Britain, an ardent proponent of enlargement, is almost out of the EU. German Chancellor Angela Merkel, also an enlargement supporter, is entering her swan song. Pushing back, France’s increasingly assertive president, Emmanuel Macron, is arguing that deepening integration among current EU members is more important than expanding the bloc. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Central and eastern Europeans are mostly happy with progress since 1989

Posted by hkarner - 4. November 2019

Date: 31-10-2019
Source: The Economist

The collapse of communism ended four decades of servitude

No empire in history has disintegrated as quickly or as bloodlessly as the Soviet one, in the remarkable year that saw the fall of the Berlin Wall in November 1989. A period of carnage in Romania the following month was the only grisly counter-example. Yugoslavia, never a part of that empire, followed a tragically different path; but for the rest of central and eastern Europe, though clearly imperfect, the past 30 years have been a time of marvels.

Standards of living for most of the region’s peoples have vastly improved, and most of them know it. New polling by the Pew Research Centre shows that 81% of Poles, 78% of Czechs and 55% of Hungarians agree that this is the case. Only Bulgarians on balance take a gloomy view, with just 32% of them thinking that their standard of living has improved since 1989. Development has been patchy, but for every depopulating and ageing rustbelt in eastern Europe there is a booming industrial region, a tech cluster or a services centre desperate for more workers. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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At French insistence, the Macedonians are left out in the cold

Posted by hkarner - 27. Oktober 2019

Date: 26-10-2019
Source: The Economist

The Albanians too

Not even the bleariest-eyed of early-morning travellers can fail to notice the memorial at Sarajevo airport. It recalls eight French soldiers who died during the Bosnian war. When the war ended, in 1995, the American-designed peace deal was signed in Paris. Ever since then, European policy has been clear: to avoid the mistakes of the past, the western Balkan states must be anchored in the eu. But at a summit on October 18th, to the horror of Balkan leaders and most of his eu colleagues, Emmanuel Macron, France’s president, seemed to kick the legs out from under that policy.

Mr Macron argued that the eu’s enlargement strategy was “bizarre”, and that the eu needed reform before enlargement. France blocked the opening of accession negotiations for North Macedonia; along with Denmark and the Netherlands, it did so for Albania, too. Overshadowed by Brexit, the veto was barely reported in France, but it sent shock-waves through the Balkans. Serbia and Montenegro are already negotiating membership, and Kosovo and Bosnia would like to start as well. Although Mr Macron says that eu enlargement is not dead, he is unclear about what should happen next. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Can the good run of central Europe’s economies last?

Posted by hkarner - 27. Oktober 2019

Date: 26-10-2019
Source: The Economist

The extremely open economies are vulnerable to external shocks

Fifteen years after they joined the eu, the four “Visegrad” states of central Europe (the v4) can be prouder of their economic achievements than of their patchy record on political reform. The Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia have increased their levels of gdp per head dramatically, and are converging with their mighty neighbour Germany. The Czechs are the richest, with a gdp per head that is 73% of Germany’s, followed by Slovakia with 63% and Hungary and Poland with around 57% each—and the gap continues to close, as their growth outpaces that of the behemoth (see chart).

Four main external forces have driven the remarkable successes of the four extremely open v4 economies. The first is their access to generous subsidies from the eu, which make up a sizeable chunk of their respective national incomes. Second is the munificent flow of remittances from millions of expat v4 citizens who now live and work in the eu, especially in Germany, Austria or Britain. A benevolent recent economic environment has also helped, especially the success of the German economy, by far their most important trading partner and the biggest or second-biggest investor in each country. And lastly, the four all started from a low base, enabling them to serve as cheap workshops for more developed economies. The danger is that all four of these factors are now petering out. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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How liberalism became ‘the god that failed’ in eastern Europe

Posted by hkarner - 25. Oktober 2019

Date: 24-10-2019
Source: The Guardian By Ivan Krastev and Stephen Holmes

After communism fell, the promises of western liberalism to transform central and eastern Europe were never fully realised – and now we are seeing the backlash.

In the spring of 1990, John Feffer, a 26-year-old American, spent several months criss-crossing eastern Europe in hope of unlocking the mystery of its post-communist future and writing a book about the historical transformation unfolding before his eyes. He was no expert, so instead of testing theories, he buttonholed as many people from as many walks of life as possible. The contradictions he encountered were fascinating and puzzling. East Europeans were optimistic but apprehensive. Many of those he interviewed at the time expected to be living like Viennese or Londoners within five years, 10 years at the most. But these hopes were mingled with anxiety and foreboding. As Hungarian sociologist Elemér Hankiss observed: “People realised suddenly that in the coming years, it would be decided who would be rich and who would be poor; who would have power and who would not; who would be marginalised and who would be at the centre. And who would be able to found dynasties and whose children would suffer.”

Feffer eventually published his book, but did not return to the countries that had briefly captured his imagination. Then, 25 years later, he decided to revisit the region and to seek out those with whom he had spoken in 1990. This time round, eastern Europe was richer but roiled by resentment. The capitalist future had arrived, but its benefits and burdens were unevenly, even crassly distributed. After reminding us that “For the World War II generation in eastern Europe, communism was the ‘god that failed’”, Feffer writes thatFor the current generation in the region, liberalism is the god that failed.” Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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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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