Archive | March, 2009

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End of Innocence

Posted on 27 March 2009 by admin

Stock-taking is in order on the 10th anniversary of Europe’s coming of age.

By TOL

Ten years ago, it felt like the end of an era, and not just because serious commentators were warning that the Y2K bug would knock us all back to the age of vacuum tubes, if not quill pens.

The year 1999 brought a major consolidation of the democratic gains of 1989-1990 in Central and Eastern Europe and a smooth and fateful change of power in Russia, and saw a consortium of European states make war against one of their own for the first time since the Warsaw Pact invasion of Czechoslovakia.  Continue reading …

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Gloomy Celebrations

Posted on 10 March 2009 by admin

hungary bridgeHas Hungary lost its way since the heady days of 20 years ago, or is that just the Magyar pessimism talking?

By Istvan Hegedus

What went wrong in Hungary? This year Hungarians celebrate five years of European Union membership and 20 years of democratic development after the collapse of a relatively “soft” communist dictatorship. Outside observers used to deem Hungary a success story. Even most Hungarians saw their country as the star pupil among the new pluralist regimes in Central and Eastern Europe that had started to attend “democracy courses” and to undergo an economic transformation as applicants to the European Union in the 1990s. Continue reading …

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