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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 […]

Book Review: The Tale of Jozef Tiso: Priest, Politician, Collaborator

Book Review: The Tale of Jozef Tiso: Priest, Politician, Collaborator

While the tumultuous years from 1914-1945 are surely the most researched, and written-about in modern history, the story of the priest-turned-president Jozef Tiso and the fascist Slovak Republic he presided over has been inaccessible to the Anglophone world. But no longer. With the publication of James Mace Ward’s Priest, Politician, Collaborator: Jozef Tiso and the […]

Book Briefs: Mar., 2013

IN THE HUG OF ARMS A tribute to all the innocent victims of armed conflicts, this anthology, edited by EU Parlamentarian and writer Mariela Baeva, takes readers to war-torn Europe, the Arab Spring and other regions of turbulence and radical change with short stories, excerpts of short novels, and essays.   In the Hug of Arms by Mariela Baeva, ed. CULTURE’99 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

EU Court of Justice backs Slovakia in border issue

EU Court of Justice backs Slovakia in border issue

The European Union Court of Justice ruled in favour of Slovakia concerning a border dispute with Hungary in 2009, saying it did not infringe upon EU law. At issue was the attempt by then-Hungarian president Laszlo Solyom to enter the southern Slovakian city Komárno on 21 Aug., 2009, to attend the unveiling of a monument […]

Reliving History at Red Stone Castle

Reliving History at Red Stone Castle

When I first visited Red Stone Castle (Rotenstein) as a child in 1993, it was a ruin. There is no other word for it. Haunting walls of crumbling buildings, the ancient, time-washed skeletons of a lost world reached empty-handed into a vast sky, as if pleading for a kind of deliverance. There were almost no […]

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