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

1999: The Year in Review
Czech Republic
The Baltics
Franjo Tudjman
after Tudjman


Transitions Online

Britske listy (in Czech)

Domino Forum (in Slovak)


Zhidas Daskalovski:
Schengen's Iron Curtain

Sam Vaknin:
1) Post-Communist Post-Communi-

2) Conspiracies behind Every Corner


Interview with Csaba Bollok

Young Hungarian Film


Readers' Choice:
The most popular article last week

Getting to Love the Socialist Housing Estate


Intellectuals and Politics in Central Europe

Everyday Stalinism

Book Shop




Postcard from Ul'yanovsk


Central European
Culture in the UK


Music Shop


Church and State in Poland

Greens Lose Ground in the Czech Republic

EU Enlargement after Helsinki


Williams Replies to Keane on Havel

Cynicism Is Spot on

consider a small donation to CER


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

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


Anglo-American College, Prague,   January 2000:
Public Opinion, Media and Politics
Greg Wolk and
Andrew Stroehlein


Collected works of our regular authors

Jan Culik

Sean Hanley

Mel Huang


Catherine Lovatt

Kazi Stastna


Sam Vaknin

Contact CER to find out more about our Virtual Internship Programme


10 January 2000
Crime and Security

with your comments
and suggestions.

Receive Central Europe Review
free via e-mail
every week.

your article
to Central Europe Review

Who's reading


Vol 1, No 25, 13 December 1999

Click to jump to the various sections of CER.

Central Europe Review: politics, society and culture in Central and Eastern EuropeAfter six successful months of producing this journal, the contributors and staff of Central Europe Review are pausing for three weeks to put their shattered family and social lives in order. We will return to weekly publication, starting on 10 January 2000.
    In the past half year, Central Europe Review has grown from a rough idea into the
leading journal on the region. CER has always been free to readers, and we intend to keep it that way in future. To help us to do so, please consider a small donation to help us with our costs.
    Enjoy this expanded issue, and we'll see you again in January.

Detail of ten-euro note E U R O P E:
Return to Helsinki
Martin D Brown
Last week's EU Summit in Helsinki should have been the most important international event in that city since the Cold War talks of 1975. In the end, however, it was a disappointment.

Acid rain's effects E N V I R O N M E N T:
From Puppet Master to
Listless Puppet

Andreas Beckmann
Concerns over the environment played a prominent role in the unrest of November 1989 in the Czech Republic. Today, the issue has dropped in priority, and although environmentalists are quick to pin the blame on former Premier Vaclav Klaus, they have made few efforts to come to terms with the changed circumstances and find a language that the general Czech population can understand.

Wawel P O L A N D:
The Pro-Government Church
Mariusz Janicki
In Poland, the Catholic Church is trying to strike a balance between its support of the government and the discontented. In the eyes of many, its recent criticism of protesters and backing of the reforms introduced by Jerzy Buzek's cabinet have tipped the scales too far in favour of government.

Kazan S L I C E   O F   L I F E:
Postcard from Ul'yanovsk
Derek S Hutcheson

At one point, I was accused of being a Chechen travelling on a stolen British passport, and it looked like I might be spending a night at the Ul'yanovsk town jail pending deportation. There is a phrase the Russians use to describe this sort of thing: Eto Rossiya ("It's Russia").

Return to top of page


L e t t e r s   to   C E R
Pulp Faction
Kieran Williams
On reading Professor Keane's reply to my review of his biography of Vaclav Havel, I find nothing that would cause me to rethink or retract any of my criticisms. When we get beyond the uncivil invective, we encounter little in the way of answers to the questions I raised.
On Cavemen and Aliens
Susan Smolens
Sam Vaknin's article last week was spot on: one can only be cynical of the West's intentions in the East.

Return to top of page


1999Theme of the week:
The Year
For the last issue of Central Europe Review this year, we present overviews of what 1999 has meant to various countries of the region.
1 9 9 9:
Hungarian Hopes
Gusztav Kosztolanyi
1999 in Hungary proved to be a year when history was made as well as commemorated and celebrated.
1 9 9 9:
Croatia's Crossroads
Sasa Cvijetic
At the end of 1999, Croatia finds itself with neither a President nor a Parliament.
1 9 9 9:
Baltic Rollercoaster
Mel Huang
From significant political shifts and economic collapse to EU hopes and regional pork wars, 1999 was an eventful year in the Baltics.
1 9 9 9:
Romania's Hardships
Catherine Lovatt
Economic collapse, political instability and civil unrest appear to have been the underlying factors behind the year. However, not everything is negative.
1 9 9 9:
Success Abroad,
Questions at Home

Michael J Kopanic
In the wake of Helsinki, the Slovak government can enjoy the holiday spirit and toast the new year as it celebrates its EU triumph. But for his coalition to be strong over the next few years, Dzurinda's team will have to overcome much higher hurdles on the domestic front.
1 9 9 9:
Czech Republic:
Rising Discontent

Jan Culik
With the economy bordering on crisis and politicians incapable of fixing the country's problems, the Czech public became increasingly discontent throughout 1999.

Return to top of page


CER's Regular Columnists:

Schengen's Iron Curtain
Zhidas Daskalovski
The fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 was seen by many Eastern Europeans as the beginning of a new era in the relations between West and East. The EU's Schengen agreement, however, has created a barrier as effective as the Iron Curtain ever was.

As CER will be on holiday until 10 January, we present two articles from Sam Vaknin to keep you going through the next few weeks:
The Magla Vocables
Sam Vaknin
Whereas for most people speech is a form of communication and contact, for the residents of former Communist countries it is a method of establishing distance and fending off. This affects the behaviour of intellectuals and politicians and even the whole course of transition.
The Elders of Zion
Sam Vaknin
Anti-Semitism is only one species in the zoo of rumours, conspiracy theories and meta histories. In Central and East Europe's void created by unreliable, politicized and corrupt media, rumour mills spring eternal.

Return to top of page


Cottbus film festival poster Kinoeye
Kinoeye finishes 1999 with a look at "New Waves" in Hungarian cinema, with reports from the 9th Festival of Young East European Cinema, where CER caught up with director Csaba Bollok and the recent retrospective of 1990s Hungarian cinema at the ICA in London.

Young Hungarian Cinema:
"We are working on it"

Andrew J Horton
Following the mid-1990s nadir of Central European cinema, eyes have been pinned on the up-and-coming talent to
Csaba Bollok's
Eszak, Eszak

Andrew J Horton reviews Bollok's elegaic study of directionlessness.
see if the region can regain some of its former film glory. CER talked to the young Hungarian director Csaba Bollok to ask him about his debut, the problems of making films in the current age, the influence of Hollywood and the future of Hungarian cinema.

Hungary's New Waves
Andrew J Horton
Hungary has, perhaps, the strongest cinematic tradition of all Central European countries. Has it produced any masterpieces this decade? Does it even matter?

Resources on Central and East European cinema.

Return to top of page


Books and Literature

Book cover B O O K   R E V I E W:
Intellectuals and
Politics in Central Europe

Sean Hanley
Intellectuals and Politics in Central Europe, edited by Andras Bozoki, is in many ways a typical mixed bag of academic conference papers. It provides uneven coverage of a variety of themes and cases, juxtaposing insightful analysis with potted history and abstruse theorising.

B O O K   R E V I E W:
Everyday Stalinism
Joanna Rohozinska
Sheila Fitzpatrick is one of today's foremost scholars in Soviet history. Her contribution to Soviet social history is undeniable. Her latest offering, however, falls uncomfortably between two audiences. This is a book neither for specialists in the field nor, despite the appealing title and invitingly clear structure, for the popular audience.

S U P P L E M E N T:
The CER Book Shop:
Books about Central and Eastern Europe

Have a look at CER's list of books on the region - all available from Amazon.com. The list is divided into five subject headings: cinema, literature, politics, history and economics.

Return to top of page


M   u   s   i   c

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.

Return to top of page


O n   D i s p l a y

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.

Return to top of page


Last Week's News in Central Europe:

Magali Perrault

Sasa Cvijetic

Mel Huang

RP Online

Paul Nemes

Mel Huang

Mel Huang

Joanna Rohozinska
and Donosy-English

and David Lovatt

Return to top of page


Receive Central Europe Review
free via e-mail
every week.



Copyright (c) 1999, 2000 - Central Europe Review and Internet servis, a.s.
All Rights Reserved


This week's issue Browse the CER archives All about Central Europe Review and its creators Search the entire CER website Useful Internet links in Central and Eastern Europe Jump to this week's country-by-country news reviews Jump to our regular columns Jump to this week's theme articles Jump to Kinoeye - film in Central and Eastern Europe Jump to On Display - cultural events and reviews Jump to CER's music section Jump to CER's book section