Pe@rson
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Russia And Central And Eastern Europe - Developmts

Sun Jan 22, 2006 1:15 am

How do you think Russia and Central and Eastern Europe will shape in the future, in terms of politics and economies?

Do you think Russia will become an even stronger player in the world market and the world economy?

Do you think the next decade/couple of decades/whatever will be interesting/very interesting times for Russia and Central and Eastern Europe, what with EU membership (but not necessarily for all of the countries) and the developing Westernisation?

What do you think will be the single most important development in Russia and Central and Eastern Europe?
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L410Turbolet
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RE: Russia And Central And Eastern Europe - Developmts

Sun Jan 22, 2006 1:26 am

Quoting Pe@rson (Thread starter):
What do you think will be the single most important development in Russia and Central and Eastern Europe?

Russia not pretending to be "democracy" anymore and returning to its old ways of foreign policy - that is being a threat to everyone in its vicinity. IMHO the question is not "if" but only "when".
 
mNeo
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RE: Russia And Central And Eastern Europe - Developmts

Sun Jan 22, 2006 1:42 am

Considering that most of Eastern European (Ex Soviet Bloc) countries are in line for the EU and some even have NATO bases Russia does not seem like a big threat. If the goverment can minimize corruption i would say Russia and Eastern Europe will prosper. There are alot of skilled and well trained workers that would work for a smaller wage than what is offered in the rest of the EU.

Corrupton is the major problem. Companies that bribe goverment officals are the ones causing the problems.

The EU will create many new opportinites. The biggest problem is when countries enter the EU its citizens might not want to stick around, and move to western Europe.

I would say that in 40-60 years the EU will offer similar living and working conditions regardless of where one lives.

As for Russia, I dont blame them for bringing back some of the "soviet era" tacktics. In moskow one can see more $100,000+ cars then anywhere in the world. The money for those cars did not came in a legal way. And it is sad to see a 05 BMW 7 next to a 88 VW golf. RAdical measures are needed to solve such problems, and if that requires some old school methods, its ok with me.
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L410Turbolet
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RE: Russia And Central And Eastern Europe - Developmts

Sun Jan 22, 2006 1:56 am

Quoting MNeo (Reply 2):
The biggest problem is when countries enter the EU its citizens might not want to stick around, and move to western Europe.

This is not true. Social mobility in Europe is generally low, people are simply not too willing to move (only something like 4% of EU population lives in a country different than they were born) and the new EU countries are no exception.
The whole hysteria about "Polish plumber" proved to be just that - hysteria that never materialized.
Facts of course shouldn't prevent governments of countries like Germany and Austria /quite ironic it's these two in particular/ extending the ban on free movement of workforce ad nauseum, although it's mostly the symbolism of these measures people have problem with not the fact they are prevented from seeking jobs elsewhere.
 
mNeo
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RE: Russia And Central And Eastern Europe - Develo

Sun Jan 22, 2006 2:06 am

From Persnal Experience i know that MANY of my freinds after finishing School move to Western Europe for College and to get a job. I have freinds in almost every single EU country(Mostly Germany and Spain) The problem, At least in Bulgaria, is that when you Graduate school most kids cant find a job that can support them trough college.

My cousin went to Germany and she makes enough to pay for college, housing, car, and to get back to BG whenever she can.

The problem is not whole familes leaving to go west, but the High school garduates.

PS: I suspect that in the Czech Republic the situaton may be diffrent, as you are a more "westernized" nation then we are. I speak from personal experience, beacause i go back to BG every summer and things have not improved much.

[Edited 2006-01-21 18:09:39]
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L410Turbolet
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RE: Russia And Central And Eastern Europe - Developmts

Sun Jan 22, 2006 2:11 am

Quoting MNeo (Reply 2):
As for Russia, I dont blame them for bringing back some of the "soviet era" tacktics. In moskow one can see more $100,000+ cars then anywhere in the world. The money for those cars did not came in a legal way. And it is sad to see a 05 BMW 7 next to a 88 VW golf.

I think you have to differentiate between internal politics and foreign politics. Domestic policy. Number of luxury cars roaming the streets of Moscow is a result of huge transfers of fmr. state property into hands of very few. To reverse that you would need another 1917, which is unlikely. Even if some worse-than-Putin-hardliner comes to power, those oligarchs have too much power already and he will have to be respecting these untouchables. As long as they stay out of Europe with their tanks I don't really care what sort of system they run - as long as it is stable and predictable.
Foreign policy. As ironic as it might seem the status quo is the best scenario - Russia because of its rusted nukes is taken somewhat seriously, it's given seat on the G7+Russia thing, but otherwise it's a lame duck not capable of anything serious. Chechnya is their 2nd Afghanistan and militarily they are not capable of pulling some major stunts so they at least play with the taps of the oil/gas pipelines to show some "muscles".
 
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alberchico
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RE: Russia And Central And Eastern Europe - Developmts

Sun Jan 22, 2006 2:14 am

Russia will never advance far enough to join the EU. Their economy is stagnant, even Condoleeza Rice has expressed concerns over their movement away from democracy, and the country has the biggest gap between the rich and poor. Right now many bodyguards and chauffeurs make more money than scientists or engineers.

The only good thing is that Putin has agreed to step down after his second term runs out............
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L410Turbolet
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RE: Russia And Central And Eastern Europe - Developmts

Sun Jan 22, 2006 2:34 am

Quoting Alberchico (Reply 6):
Condoleeza Rice has expressed concerns over their movement away from democracy

Muehehehe, Condoleeza Rice expressing concerns over democracy! How absurd is that?
 
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alberchico
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RE: Russia And Central And Eastern Europe - Developmts

Sun Jan 22, 2006 2:39 am

Quoting L410Turbolet (Reply 7):
Muehehehe, Condoleeza Rice expressing concerns over democracy! How absurd is that?

But her comments were right on the spot about Russia........
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mNeo
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RE: Russia And Central And Eastern Europe - Developmts

Sun Jan 22, 2006 2:41 am

Quoting L410Turbolet (Reply 5):

I have not followed recent news on Russia, so you may be right. But there is no chance in this day and age for Russia to take over Europe once again. Afterall the soviet union got control of Easter europe after WW2 when they freed most of them from german occupation, and then set up its own goverment.

As for the internal problems of the untouchables all it takes is a coordinated team of 5 members and a sniper. Very radical but it would seem to me that those people will never set foot in jail and most of them do nothing else but traffic drugs, prostitues, stolen goods.

I dont see how a country can have a sucsesseful foreign policy while internally it is not in shape.
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L410Turbolet
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RE: Russia And Central And Eastern Europe - Developmts

Sun Jan 22, 2006 3:03 am

Quoting MNeo (Reply 9):
it would seem to me that those people will never set foot in jail and most of them do nothing else but traffic drugs, prostitues, stolen goods.

Most of them won't be willing to exchange their comfy lifestyle for years and years of rotting in a filthy prison cell somewhere in Siberia. I'm sure Khodorkovsky often asks himself if it was all worth it - clashing with Putin.
Therefore I'm sure you are right that these ultra-rich would conclude some informal "non-agression pact" with whoever comes to Kremlin after Putin.

Quoting MNeo (Reply 9):
I dont see how a country can have a sucsesseful foreign policy while internally it is not in shape.

You can pick few über-rich scapegoats and send them to prison after spectacual court trials to show the people how tough you are. And at the same time cut the "co-habiation deal" with the rest of the über-rich, allowing them free reign in their businesses under the condition they will not mess with you politically. Foreign policy is then up to you and those you're dealing with (btw, very glad to see the era of the "buddy-buddy" Schroeder-Putin relationship is over)
 
Alessandro
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RE: Russia And Central And Eastern Europe - Developmts

Sun Jan 22, 2006 3:44 am

Russia is a big player in raw material like oil, but as a manufacturer of goods they´re falling behind. Biggest problem is that the population is decreasing.
Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania is making progress, problems exist, large minorities
of "ex-soviets" won´t get passports in Estonia and Latvia. Belarussia, Moldavia and Ukraine seem to have an uncertain future, generally they been producing of goods not so much
of exporters of raw material, their products have problem competing on the global market. Czech rep, Hungary, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia is making progress but problems exist, lot of western companies has either bought (like
VW bought Skoda) or started production in those countries due to the low labor cost and skilled workforce.
From New Yorqatar to Califarbia...
 
sovietjet
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RE: Russia And Central And Eastern Europe - Developmts

Sun Jan 22, 2006 5:21 am

In Bulgaria, people have been moving out of the country steadily since 1989. I know when I moved to the US in 96 few other people did. But now I have a bunch of friends that are in the US. However, I don't think that everyone would just move away because of EU membership. It's hard to just start a life in some foreign country, not knowing the language, etc...Also people generally want to stay with family and friends. If the EU brings the changes people think it will bring then there would be no point in moving out since conditions would be similar. I still think a good 20-30 years are necessary for all former Eastern Bloc countries to be equal in opportunity, and financial conditions to Western Europe. The period of about 10 years after the Warsaw Pact broke up brought all the economies down and it is tough to rebuild them again especially since the economies were tied with the other countries of the Pact and the USSR. As Mneo said, corruption is a serious problem. Not just in Russia, walk around the center of Sofia and once again you'll see an SL500 next to a Trabant. Cops are corrupt, you can give them $20 on the spot and they wont issue you a ticket...it benefits them more than giving you a ticket and getting nothing. There's no quota to fill....
 
L410Turbolet
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RE: Russia And Central And Eastern Europe - Developmts

Tue Jan 24, 2006 6:50 am

If anyone follows the frontal attack of Putin's regime against anything that is even remotely independent from government influence - incl. this 1980s "scandal" abou British spies and spies from NGOs the course Russia is heading is without any doubt toward some sort of "limited democracy" or "soft dictatorship".
 
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Aeroflot777
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RE: Russia And Central And Eastern Europe - Developmts

Tue Jan 24, 2006 9:56 am

Quoting Alberchico (Reply 6):
Their economy is stagnant, even Condoleeza Rice has expressed concerns over their movement away from democracy

haha...EVEN Condoleeza Rice...she has no idea what she is talking about. I laughted my as off when I saw her interview and news about her visit to Ukraine. She made a complete fool out of herself, thats all I can say!

Aeroflot777
 
slider
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RE: Russia And Central And Eastern Europe - Developmts

Wed Jan 25, 2006 2:35 am

Quoting Aeroflot777 (Reply 14):
haha...EVEN Condoleeza Rice...she has no idea what she is talking about. I laughted my as off when I saw her interview and news about her visit to Ukraine. She made a complete fool out of herself, thats all I can say!

Her expertise happens to be in Soviet politics...I'd say she's forgotten more about Russia, the backstory, history, and present landscape than most will ever know.

Quote:
In 1974, at age 19, Rice earned her B.A. in political science and Phi Beta Kappa, from the University of Denver. In 1975, she obtained her Master's Degree from the University of Notre Dame. She first worked in the State Department in 1977, during the Carter administration, as an intern in the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. In 1981, at age 26, she received her Ph.D. from the Graduate School of International Studies at the University of Denver. In addition to English, she speaks Russian, French, German and Spanish.

Moreover, she was professor at Stanford, specializing in Soviet affairs. She's well read in Tolstoy and Dostoyevsky. She has been a principal advisor in Soviet matter for presidents, worked with the NSA, etc.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Condoleezza_Rice

I'd say respectfully that you're the one who looks foolish questioning her credentials in this arena, which are impeccable.
 
Lindy
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RE: Russia And Central And Eastern Europe - Developmts

Wed Jan 25, 2006 3:34 am

Quoting L410Turbolet (Reply 3):
The whole hysteria about "Polish plumber" proved to be just that - hysteria that never materialized.

Exactly! I don't see people moving from Poland to other countries. The thing that made them move before Poland joined EU is that "West" was out of reach for most folks.
Right now Polish people go to work in Ireland and Italy seasionaly. Previously they were illegal workers in those countries, now they can legaly earn some money and they can't be used by employers.
I'm not talking about hi-tech jobs, just regular hard phisical work. Why only France complained that "Polish plumber" is working in France, earning minimum wage in Euros and paying taxes in Poland? You don't see Spain, Ireland or Italy complaining that they have minimum wage workers. Polish people take jobs that nobody in France, Ireland or any other country in EU would take for that low sallary. So stop bitching and put French citizens picking strawberies in Ireland for 2 Euros per hour.

Quoting MNeo (Reply 4):
From Persnal Experience i know that MANY of my freinds after finishing School move to Western Europe for College and to get a job. I have freinds in almost every single EU country(Mostly Germany and Spain) The problem, At least in Bulgaria, is that when you Graduate school most kids cant find a job that can support them trough college.

Same thing here. I have many friends from Poland that right after graduatoin from Hight School went to Spain, Ireland or Italy to earn some money for future education. Most of them work on the construction sites, cleaning and restocking hiper markets, or work as a babysitters (women).
Right now the only job that you can get after finishing high school is 'door to door' salesman. And again, thats why people take any crappy jobs outside Poland so they can survive.


To be honest - Western European countries look down on ex- Eastern Block countries. We are still 3rd world to them. They are treating "us" like a stepchild.

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Pe@rson
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RE: Russia And Central And Eastern Europe - Developmts

Mon Jan 30, 2006 9:29 am

Do you think that Russia will, in time, become increasingly important and dominant?
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Aeroflot777
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RE: Russia And Central And Eastern Europe - Developmts

Mon Jan 30, 2006 3:23 pm

Quoting Slider (Reply 15):
Moreover, she was professor at Stanford, specializing in Soviet affairs. She's well read in Tolstoy and Dostoyevsky. She has been a principal advisor in Soviet matter for presidents, worked with the NSA, etc.

Exactly! SOVIET is the key word. Apparently you have no idea how different the CIS countries are right now. I'm not questioning her Soviet knowledge, which IM sure is quite great, and I don't argue. But she does lack knowledge in modern CIS country politics, which are quite convoluted at the moment.

Quoting Pe@rson (Reply 17):
Do you think that Russia will, in time, become increasingly important and dominant?

Even though many will disagree, I say "yes". And you'll see, give it time and you'll see Russia hitting big!

Aeroflot777
 
Stas
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RE: Russia And Central And Eastern Europe - Developmts

Mon Jan 30, 2006 5:39 pm

Quoting Lindy (Reply 16):

Exactly! I don't see people moving from Poland to other countries. The thing that made them move before Poland joined EU is that "West" was out of reach for most folks.

Tell me about it  Smile

I guess all those Poles I have met in my recent visits to Canada and the US are seasonal workers  Yeah sure The majority of those Poles came there recently (less than 2 years ago) and none of them has plans to go back.

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