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Eastern Europe’s Davos

Eastern Europe’s Davos

Play Inc. executive Jorg Bang-Jensen has reason to smile. The CEO of Poland’s fourth largest mobile operator has been able to report “steady growth” since the company started operations just six months before the financial crisis.   Now, the question is, “Is the crisis over?” dominated  discussion at Central Europe’s annual gathering of economic futurists […]

Peace, Quiet & Kaczynski

Peace, Quiet & Kaczynski

Whether it’s the influence of the silly season, the unusual heat wave, or the successful campaign of nationalist populism across Central Europe, international media such as The New York Times and El Pais, have again started to pay some attention to the leader of the Polish conservatives, Jaroslaw Kaczynski. After a few years in the […]

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 […]

The Slovak Fiscal Paradise Ends in a Hotel Ballroom

The Slovak Fiscal Paradise Ends in a Hotel Ballroom

On 13 November, Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico was scheduled to speak at the Forbes Business-Government Dialogue conference in Bratislava. Instead, Fico sent a video to the business and diplomatic leaders, astonishing the influential blue chip group painstakingly assembled by the American Chamber of Commerce. Fico’s enormous projected image told the room he was too […]

Let’s Give Fico a Chance

Let’s Give Fico a Chance

Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico, who took the helm of his second government in April, surprised his critics after his landslide victory in the March parliamentary elections by behaving in a measured fashion: he communicated with the media and convened meetings with various social groups. Slovak caricaturists went overboard in portraying Fico as a hooded […]

Slovakia Sees Red

Slovakia Sees Red

Spirits soared at the headquarters of Slovakia’s centre-left party, Smer (“Direction”), on the eve of the 10 March election: Preliminary polling numbers pointed to a solid victory. As an excited crowd hoisted Robert Fico onto their shoulders, it was plain to observers who the country’s new prime minister would be. What they could not yet […]

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