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Book Review: Polish Patriot, Soldier, Spy

Book Review: Polish Patriot, Soldier, Spy

“In the Underground, it became a rule not to live in one place too long,” writes Jan Karski, in his memoir of the Polish resistance. Agents moved quickly from site to site in Nazi-occupied Europe. In Warsaw, they were beaten but fighting on, navigating borders while carrying messages to an outside world that wasn’t ready […]

IMF wants stimulus for CEE

Prompted by Poland’s listless growth and recessions in Hungary and the Czech Republic, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) recommended short-term stimulus policies for much of Central Europe in May, according to The Wall Street Journal Europe. After vigorous growth in the 2000s, Poland has stagnated in 2013 and had only 0.1% growth in the first […]

Central Europe’s Nationalist Paradox

Central Europe’s Nationalist Paradox

Hungary’s Viktor Orbán, a nationalist? On the contrary. Would he then sign partnership agreements with large foreign investors? And Slovakia’s Robert Fico picking up right-wing voters and thus shifting toward nationalism? Hardly, or he wouldn’t be dedicating so much energy to saving the country’s largest private employer, the U.S. Steel ironworks in Kosice, which the […]

Polish Fritzl Bar

Polish Fritzl Bar

A restaurant owner in Warsaw relinquished efforts to open a cellar bar in honour of convicted rapist Josef Fritzl. City authorities blocked the mid-January opening of the locale “U Fritzla” on Warsaw’s Nowy Swiat street, and announced potential fines for the tenant. Intending black humour, the bar’s logo featured a headshot of the Austrian, who […]

Poland/Slovakia 2022?

Poland/Slovakia 2022?

Taking a page from the recently co-hosted European Football Championships, Poland and Slovakia are expected to jointly bid to host the 2022 Winter Olympic Games. The presidents of both countries expressed support for the idea, dividing the estimated €1.5 billion cost of the event. The shared border along the High Tatras would play host to […]

Book Review: Anna Porter’s The Ghosts of Europe

Book Review: Anna Porter’s The Ghosts of Europe

The Prisoner Syndrome “We now have democracy,” remarked Czechoslovakia’s president Tomas Masaryk in 1918, after the cobbling together of his beloved postwar multinational state, “all we need are some democrats.” Unfortunately, the countries of Central Europe were to endure some ninety-odd years of identity crisis, marred by decades of totalitarian rule – both fascist and […]

In Poland, Big Food, Big Politics

In Poland, Big Food, Big Politics

Polish food can be political. But not in the way consumers in the Czech Republic imagine, exposed as they were to the affair surrounding the use of industrial salt in Polish foodstuffs. The Czech food inspection agency made that revelation and others, which the Poles vehemently protested. No product with industrial salt ever reached the […]

Saving Central Europe’s Newspapers

Saving Central Europe’s Newspapers

“The Internet will be to my generation of journalists what alcohol was to our predecessors,” wrote Slovak journalist Tomas Bella on his blog, – “a destroyer first of thought and then of productivity, destructive of both the capacity to reflect and to react. Just like alcohol, it seems an inevitable part of the job.” Bella […]

1.2-metre-wide house unveiled in Warsaw

1.2-metre-wide house unveiled in Warsaw

Part work of art, part place of residence, architect Jakub Szczesny has completed a two-story aluminum house wedged between two modern apartment blocks in the Polish capital, and welcomed its first tenant. Funded by the Foundation of Polish Modern Art and the Warsaw City Hall, the 10m-deep and 9m-high building measures a mere 1.2m in […]

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