Föhrenbergkreis Finanzwirtschaft

Unkonventionelle Lösungen für eine zukunftsfähige Gesellschaft

Posts Tagged ‘CEE’

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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Spalt folgt Treichl 2020 an Spitze der Erste Group

Posted by hkarner - 13. September 2018

Cooling Off??? Das gilt doch nicht für Treichl!

Sowohl im österreichischen Corporate-Governance-Kodex als auch im österreichischen Aktienrecht. Seit 2012 sieht § 86 Abs. 4 Aktiengesetz eine sogenannte Cooling-off-Periode von zwei Jahren vor. Das Verstreichen dieses Zeitraums soll bewirken, dass der Vorstand Abstand zu „seinem“ Unternehmen gewinnt. (hfk)

13. September 2018, 15:03 derstandard.at

Nach langem Nachdenken wird der Aufsichtsrat der Erste Group Bernhard Spalt zum nächsten Chef der Großbank machen

Wien – Der Aufsichtsrat der Erste Group hat am Donnerstag in einer Sitzung entschieden, wer dem langjährigen Vorstandsvorsitzenden Andreas Treichl 2020 nachfolgen wird. Die Wahl fiel auf Bernhard Spalt, einen Juristen, der seit 1991 in der Erste Bank arbeitet. Der 50-Jährige war in diversen Ländern in Führungsfunktionen im Einsatz, zuletzt als Risikochef in der rumänischen Erste-Group-Tochter BCR.

Derzeit ist Spalt Risikovorstand der Erste Bank. Die Entscheidung ist schon seit längerem angestanden. „Es ist eine große Ehre Andreas Treichl an der Spitze der Erste Group zu folgen. Ich sehe für uns als Bank enorme Wachstumschancen, nicht zuletzt wegen der Fokussierung auf die Realwirtschaft in Zentral- und Osteuropa sowie auf innovative Produkte und Dienstleistungen wie unsere digitale Banking-Plattform George“, wurde Spalt in einer Aussendung zitiert.

Andreas Treichl zieht sich nach vielen Jahren an der Spitze der Erste Group in den Vorsitz des Aufsichtsrats der Erste Stiftung zurück. Treichl ist einer der längstdienenden Vorstandsvorsitzenden im internationalen Bankwesen, sein Vertrag wurde zuletzt bis 2020 verlängert. Unter ihm hat die Bank massiv expandiert. Der 66-Jährige wird sich in den Vorsitz des Aufsichtsrats der Erste Stiftung zurückziehen. (gra, 13.9.2018) – derstandard.at/2000087289235/Spalt-folgt-Treichl-2020-an-Spitze-der-Erste-Group

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Putin Overplays His Hand

Posted by hkarner - 20. August 2018

Christopher R. Hill, former US Assistant Secretary of State for East Asia, was US Ambassador to Iraq, South Korea, Macedonia, and Poland, a US special envoy for Kosovo, a negotiator of the Dayton Peace Accords, and the chief US negotiator with North Korea from 2005-2009. He is Chief Advisor to the Chancellor for Global Engagement and Professor of the Practice in Diplomacy at the University of Denver, and the author of Outpost.

This summer, the governments of Greece and the Republic of Macedonia reached an agreement that would finally put to rest a decades-long diplomatic dispute over Macedonia’s name. By reportedly attempting to derail the rapprochement, the Kremlin has shown that even countries sympathetic to Russia cannot trust it.

DENVER – The Kremlin’s foreign policy increasingly seems to rest on the assumption that all countries are as corruptible as Vladimir Putin’s Russia. This was evident most recently in Russia’s alleged efforts to undermine an agreement between Greece and its tiny northern neighbor, the Republic of Macedonia, over the latter’s name. Assuming that Macedonians approve a September 30 referendum, their country will henceforth be known as the Republic of North Macedonia.

The agreement was not easy to reach. The quintessentially Balkan dispute between Greece and Macedonia dates back at least to 1991, when Macedonia, then one of Yugoslavia’s poorest republics, declared its independence, and adopted the name Republic of Macedonia. That appellation would go on to have significant real-world consequences for the fledgling country of 2.1 million people. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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The EU Spent a Bundle to Unify the Continent. It’s Not Working.

Posted by hkarner - 9. August 2018

Date: 08-08-2018
Source: The Wall Street Journal

Some of the biggest recipients of aid are hotbeds of the very discontent that’s driving the bloc apart

The European Union has spent nearly one trillion dollars to unify the continent by delivering highways and trains into places where there were once gravel paths. In current dollars, that is over eight times the size of the Marshall Plan that rebuilt Europe after World War II. The EU has built airports and bridges, trams and swimming pools. It has repaired castles and medieval churches.

It hasn’t bought love.

To the vexation of European leaders, some of the biggest recipients of funding are now hotbeds of discontent, brimming with voters disquieted by the cultural and political pressures that have accompanied European integration, and threatening the bloc’s cohesion.

A renovated kindergarten in Lapy, Poland, sits near a bright blue billboard reading “Financed by the European Union.” The EU bankrolls one-fifth of Lapy’s budget, improved its sewage system and built an office complex for startups. Locals meanwhile overwhelmingly support Poland’s governing nationalist party, which says the EU overrides Polish sovereignty, condescends to Poles and threatens religious values. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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