Central Europe Review: politics, society and culture in Central and Eastern Europe
This week's articles are listed below

This Week's
Theme: Poverty


Mel Huang:
Estonia's Bungled
Military Reform

Sam Vaknin:
Mind of Darkness

Jan Čulík:
Fear of Rationality

Catherine Lovatt:
Too Many Parties in Romania?

Gusztáv Kosztolányi:
Hungarian Corruption


Transitions Online

Britske listy (in Czech)

Domino Forum (in Slovak)

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Aleksei Balabanov's Schastlivye dni



Book Review:
On the Development of Czech Society

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» Austria
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» Latvia
» Lithuania
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Experimental Art

Central European
Culture in the UK

Central European
Cultural Events in the USA


Croatian Contemporary

Music Shop


Arkan Shot Dead

Weak Czech Media

Train Drain

AIDS in Prague

Former Soviet

The Big Croatian Shift


Russian Debt and Capital Flight
(part 2)

Slovak Steel Stolen
(part 2)


No Czech Fairy Tales this Year


The 7th Central and Eastern
European Power Industry Forum

(CEEPIF 2000)
28-30 March 2000 Marriott Hotel Prague, Czech Republic

World Bank Conference
World Bank: Global Program on Capital Markets Development at the Subnational Level

Fact Sheet

Columbia University, US
13-15 April 2000:

Association for the Study of Nationalities Annual World Convention

CEU, Budapest
25-26 February 2000

Direct Democracy: The Eastern and Central European Experience


Collected works of our regular authors

Jan Čulík

Seán Hanley

Mel Huang


Catherine Lovatt

Kazi Stastna


Sam Vaknin

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Expanded Culture Issue

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Vol 2, No 2, 17 January 2000

Click to jump to the various sections of CER.

Arkan Arkan Shot Dead
Vana Suša
Dražen Budiša, leader of the Croatian Social Liberal Party left,and his coalition partner Ivica Račan, leader of the Croatian Socialist
Winners Budiša and Račan
C R O A T I A:
And What Now?
Saša Cvijetić
Two weeks ago, even the biggest optimists in Croatia were taken by surprise; the opposition coalition of the Social-Democratic Party of Croatia and the Croatian Social-Liberal Party achieved a landslide victory in the long-awaited parliamentary elections. With only a week left until the presidential elections, CER takes stock of this significant result.

T R A N S P O R T:
The Little Engine That Couldn't
Martin Burger
Travellers and industrial goods in Central and Eastern Europe used to move mainly by train. Not anymore. The centralised transport systems are collapsing while new roads divide landscapes.

AIDS ribbon C Z E C H   R E P U B L I C:
A Glimmer in the Dark
Catherine Miller
AIDS has been greeted in the Czech Republic with a fair amount of hysteria and stigmatisation, while few among the older generation take the spread of HIV seriously. Offering a beacon of hope to those have contracted the virus is Dům světla (The Lighthouse), a much-needed asylum centre in Prague.

P O S T - S O V I E T:
Europe Endless
Peter Szyszlo
Nearly a decade after the collapse of the USSR, the former Soviet borderlands remain in flux, struggling to rebuild economies, define political systems and national identities. As Warsaw, Prague and Budapest gear up for the European Union fast track, more restrictive EU-compliant laws will inevitably follow, thus tightening, if not constricting, their eastern flanks.

Andrew Stroehlein C Z E C H   R E P U B L I C:
Weaknesses of the Czech Media
Andrew Stroehlein
The traditional Czech media have been weak, ineffective and unable to perform the role of watchdog in the new Czech democracy. A lack of investigative journalism is only part of the problem. Political influence is strong and the entire news industry is heavily dependent on a single source of information.

S L I C E   O F   L I F E:
Once upon a Time in the Czech Republic...
James Partridge
Christmas in the Czech Republic was a little sadder this year as the dispute between CET 21, the license holder of Vladimír Železný's TV Nova, and its former partner ČNTS resulted in a number of the Czech nation's favourite fairy tales disappearing from TV screens.

Economic Evasion:
Part 2

Piotr Przychodzki and Andrei Markine
The second part of our in-depth analysis of the legal procedures that have paved the wave for chronic debt-dodging in Russia's corporate sector, resulting in massive capital flight.
Stealing the
Steelworks: Part 2

Michael J Kopanic Jr
We continue our look at how the Eastern Slovak Ironworks went from steel behemoth to debt-ridden debacle.

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C o n f e r e n c e    T a l k

World Bank Conference

World Bank: Global Conference on Capital Markets Development at the Subnational Level
New York, New York: 15-18 February 2000
Further information:
Agenda   |   Fact Sheet    |   Invitation

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Theme of the week:
The East is the poor side of Europe, but what about the poorest on the poor side?

H U N G A R Y:
Rich Man, Poor Man
Gusztáv Kosztolányi
In Hungary, the hidden world of the less affluent is beginning to encroach on the "respectable" heart of the metropolis, albeit in its most extreme manifestation. Increasingly, the smart, tourist-frequented districts of Pest are being invaded by the homeless, the most visible emblem of a deeply divided society. But there is some slight cause for optimism.

Articles on Poverty from the CER Archives:
Disaffection  -  15 November 1999   Isabelle Le Rouzic
Homelessness in Prague.
The Educated Poor  -  11 October 1999   Jan Čulík
Educated Czechs are feeling the economic pinch.
Oh Give Me a Home...  -  20 September 1999   Gusztáv Kosztolányi
Home repossessions on the rise in Hungary.
White-haired Whiners?  -  23 August 1999   Catherine Miller
A new wave of public debate on the elderly in the Czech Republic.
Of Doormats and Men  -  9 August 1999   Tomáš Pecina
Czechs are measuring their living standards by what others don't have.
A Touch of Class?  -  12 July 1999   Sean Hanley
Notions of class in Czech society.
The Latest Scam  -  15 February 1999    Gusztáv Kosztolányi
Unemployed Hungarians are falling prey to fake job placement schemes.

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CER's Regular Columnists:

Who's Afraid of Rational Thought?
Jan Čulík
In the view of one well-regarded Czech literary critic, articulate rational argumentation is highly suspect as it may lead to enslavement by ideology. Investigative journalism is also dangerous as it may result in witch-hunts. This is not an unusual attitude of contemporary Czech intellectuals.
Off the Mark
Mel Huang
For many years now, Estonia has made NATO membership a major priority of its foreign and security policy, and politicians have been falling over themselves to declare their dedication to the cause. In the process, public relations seems to have overwhelmed actual needed reforms.
Regional Politics and Instability
Catherine Lovatt
A plethora of parties in Romania often renders the democratic workings of government immobile. Instability has become the hallmark of the government, recognised not least by the recent collapse of Prime Minister Radu Vasile.
The Mind of Darkness
Sam Vaknin
Who was to blame for the war? Can Macedonia survive without Serbia? The issues are debated with an eclectic mix of nationalities over a New Year's dinner.
A Law unto Themselves?
Gusztáv Kosztolányi
In the second part of our examination of white collar crime and police corruption in Hungary, we look at the dirty influence of oil and a revealing videotape on the course of Hungarian justice. And we also see how the police have ended up the laughing stock of the country.

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From Aleksei Balabanov's Schastlivye dniKinoeye
Hot on the heels of Aleksandr Sokurov's UK success, British eyes have turned to Russia to see what other cinematic treasures lurk there. The result is a two-week run for Balabanov's debut feature at London's ICA.

No More Childhood
Aleksei Balabanov's Schastlivye dni
Andrew J Horton
St Petersburg has long been used as a backdrop for writers and film-makers. Balabanov gives the city a Gogolian treatment in his film inspired by the plays of Samual Beckett.

Resources on Central and East European cinema.

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Books and Literature

Prague B O O K   R E V I E W:
On the Development of Czech Society
Helen Carter and Magali Perrault
Zpráva o vývoji české společnosti 1989-98 moves away from the traditionally narrow Czech understanding of a social report. It consistently succeeds in "demystifying" Czech transition and provides the English-speaking reader with a coherent picture of Czech society following the Velvet Revolution and the collapse of Communism.

S U P P L E M E N T:
Books about Central and Eastern Europe

Have a look at CER's list of books on the region - all available from Amazon.com. The updated list is spread across several pages and contains many new offerings.

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M   u   s   i   c

Croatian National Opera in ZagrebMUSIC:
Continuing Traditions:
Contemporary music in Croatia

William A Everett
Croatia has a rich and distinctive musical heritage which stretches back to the Middle Ages. William A Everett looks at the big names and institutions which make up the contemporary music scene.

S U P P L E M E N T:
The CER Music Shop
In co-operation with Amazon.com, Central Europe Review offers you this on-line shopping supplement.

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O n   D i s p l a y

E X H I B I T I O N:
Czech Experimental Art of the 1960s
Vít Havránek
Today's perspective on the 1960s has been influenced by changes in technology and mass communication and the continuing social revolution. A current exhibition in Prague suggests how this perspective affords understanding of the reverse side of Czech and Slovak art of the 1960s.
Coming up in the UK
Andrew J Horton
Details of selected Central and East European cultural events in the UK over the next few weeks.
Coming up in the USA
Karen Laun
Central and East European events in the United States in the coming weeks. NEW!

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Last Week's News in Central Europe:

Magali Perrault

Saša Cvijetić

Mel Huang

RP Online

Paul Nemes

Mel Huang

Mel Huang

Joanna Rohozinska
and Donosy-English

and David Lovatt

Vana Suša

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Click HERE for more information.

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