Can a radio station really help a people free themselves from tyranny just by broadcasting independent news? The story of B92, the Slav broadcaster that was set up and that expanded in the time of the Serb dictator and has now become a multimedia mass-media company, shows that such a thing is possible. Subjected to threats and shut down innumerable times, B92 has always risen from its own ashes, like the phoenix...
Finland has finally outgrown its Russian connection and evolved into a thriving, advanced democracy that prizes women in fundamental leadership positions and looks to make living conditions for its children among the best in the world. At the same time, the country struggles when it comes to opening the door to would-be immigrants and still faces a deep and dark demon that won’t go away: alcohol abuse.
The economic activity in the Czech Republic has been picking up since 2002, deriving benefits from structural changes in the economy, a robust inflow of foreign direct investment and last but not least from the country’s entry to the EU. In 2005, the economic growth strengthened to 6%, which ranked the country among the top performers in the region. Even more importantly, the growth proved to be based on healthy foundations.
The events of the 1990s left very deep traces, but since 2000 Western Balkans economies showed a positive turnaround, experiencing a process of rapid integration into world trade. The EU remains the area’s preferred partner and Italy, Austria and Germany its main investors. But the Italy system has some major cards to play and...
The Albanian economy is recovering, but energy supplies are insufficient. Albania has good relations with its neighbour states, notwithstanding inadequate levels of reciprocity to date. As regards Kossovo, there is a need to focus on the creation of an independent state so as to put an end to any hypothesis of a Greater Albania. Ermelinda Meksi, former deputy PM of Albania, speaks to a very special correspondent for east.
The first Civil Society Index produced about Bulgaria provides a harsh picture of the social reality of that country: a disjointed body suffering from macrocephaly with foundations so shaky that little progress can be made. The National Conference has now recommended that...
Freedom and the fundamental rights of the person have once more been thrust into the limelight across the world. As Professor Stefano Rodotà explains in this interview, there can be no globalization of markets without a globalization of rights. And as a long series of incidents has highlighted, the same thing is true in very civil Europe.
You can see it already at the border: Bulgarians are less cheerful than Romanians. They way they walk and talk is marked by the warrior pride of the Slavs and the resigned sadness of the post-Communist era, seasoned with a pinch of black humour. Stalin came down hard here. He demolished villages, deported the rural population, built massive steel mills and kolchoz of which only scraps remain. Outside Sofia, on the other hand...
Like many Italian businessmen, he’s somewhat naïf. He started out producing hosiery and built up a successful company, Filodoro, which he subsequently sold to the American corporation Sara Lee. He made his comeback with the purchase of the Roberta brand and now owns Pompea. Adriano Rodella tells the story of his entrepreneurial adventure which sees him at the top with firms in Italy, Serbia, Tunisia, and offices in half Europe.
Parmigiano Reggiano is known abroad as Parmesan and, for European consumers, Parmesan is synonymous with Italy. However, Roberto Roveri, CEO of the Parma-based company Bertozzi, believes in the need to keep investing in the brand and product quality. Roveri was one of the first to realise that it was possible to export cheese in non-traditional forms.
She manages a publishing house that’s unique in its genre: only a handful of publications, but they’re all extremely successful – from design and architecture magazine “Domus”, sold in 52 countries including Russia, to the car magazine “Quattroruote”, which has Brazilian, Spanish, Central and Eastern European and even Chinese editions. Giovanna Mazzocchi, the “dottoressa”, explains the reasons for this success in this interview.
Most travelers to Simferopol see it as a jump-off point on the way to the popular seaside spots of Yalta or Sevastopol. In fact, the Ukrainian city is a remarkable cultural melting pot that combines deep Tatar roots with a Soviet-era population that has finally come of age in the 21st century. A close look at the city reveals not only its multiethnic roots, but also an unforgettably brutal history.
Since the death of Enver Hoxa in 1986, Albania has been portrayed as country down on its luck with a citizenry desperately eager to flee. But the image is flawed. Tirana is booming. The country is growing. Most important, the nation's youth is increasingly inclined to succeed on its own soil. Though EU visa restrictions will be liberalized this fall, few foresee a new Western exodus, largely because economic opportunity is better at home than abroad.
The enlargement of the Schengen area in 2007 opened Western Europe to former Soviet bloc states. Gone are the Cold War-era border crossings that divided the continent for more than half-a-century. Unchecked frontiers and easy passage has revolutionized both travel and traffic flow. The openings have produced cases of remarkable rapprochement, with ties between Austria and Slovakia as a good example. But cordiality is not always a constant. In some cases, historical animosities endure.
The year 1989 saw the Tiananmen Square revolt, the fall of the Berlin Wall, and the ouster and assassination of long-time Romanian dictator Nicolae Ceausescu, considered a friend of theWest during the Cold War. .The author visited Romania less than two months after his ouster and recalls the country’s more fragile times.