Vol 2, No 2, 17 January 2000
C R O A T I A:
|Winners Budiša and Račan
And What Now?
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
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.
C Z E C H R E P U B L I C:
A Glimmer in the Dark
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:
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
C Z E C H R E P U B L I C:
Weaknesses of the Czech Media
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...
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.
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.
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.
C o n f e r e n c e T a l k
World Bank: Global Conference on Capital Markets Development at the Subnational Level
New York, New York: 15-18 February 2000
Agenda | Fact Sheet
|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
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.
CER's Regular Columnists:
|ČULÍK'S CZECH REPUBLIC:
Who's Afraid of Rational Thought?
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
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
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
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?
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.
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.