(December 2012) After the end of the Cold War and the economic collapse of the late 1980s and early 1990s, demographic trends in eastern Europe took a decisive turn for the worse.
(July 2012) Emerging market growth slowed slightly in Q2 2012 as a solid performance from the services sector was offset by only modest growth in manufacturing, the HSBC Emerging Markets Index (EMI; pdf) shows. The EMI slipped to 53.0, from 53.6 in Q1. The service sector is still expanding at a moderate rate, although has slowed from the pace seen this time last year. The level of activity in the manufacturing sector is broadly stable as demand from Western economies remains lacklustre.
(June 2012) Daily News Digest -- Fri June 08, 2012: Key Irish and international business news at a glance; The crisis-ridden Europe sometimes forgets its own success stories, writes Alice Bota in the German weekly paper Die Zeit, with an eye to the Euro 2012 host Poland, whose story should inspire Greece in its present plight...The inauguration of Euro 2012 in his home country, Poland, is a historical turning point for Rafal Stec of the Polish daily Gazeta Wyborcza: "Mankind has been having fun at major sports events - the Olympic Games and the World and European Championships - - for almost a century. But up to now Poland has never hosted any of them. And not just Poland: not a single post-socialist country has hosted a major football tournament to date.
(June 2012) Daily News Digest -- Thurs June 07, 2012: Key Irish and international business news at a glance; Bloomberg reports that four years ago, Wendy Atkinson Navarro, 36, had a job, a husband and a home. Now, she is divorced, out of work and living with her mother near Madrid, a casualty of Spain’s recession that has driven unemployment above 24% and is unnerving young people...Thirty-seven years ago, Nikos Dimou, who is now 76, wrote a book of aphorisms titled "The Misery of Being Greek," which was published in 1975. In the book, he wrote that a Greek does "everything he can to widen the divide between desire and reality." According to estimates by the Polish government, Poland will have caught up with the standard of living in the West in 20 to 30 years. Nonsense, writes the Polish daily Rzeczpospolita.
(May 2012) When the financial crisis accelerated in late 2008, several of the 10 new eastern members of the European Union were hit by an economic tsunami, forcing them not only to introduce emergency measures but to launch extensive reforms. It was of course difficult to address structural problems in economies as it is for Italy now. Issues such as too much state bureaucracy, too much corruption, too regulated markets, and too high taxes and public expenditures have to be looked at to improve the environment for growth. For example, the World Bank has ranked Italy with the former communist-run Mongolia, for ease of doing business covering 11 indicator sets in 183 economies on forming a company and operating a business.
(April 2012) Daily News Digest -- Tues, Apr 03, 2012: Key Irish and international business news at a glance; The US once again may be emerging as a main engine for global growth - - and at an opportune time, as Europe slides into recession and China’s economy decelerates...Jürgen Stark, former chief economist at the European Central Bank (ECB), said that the risk of Eurozone debt woes spreading, the so-called contagion threat, has always been "overstated"...The average wage in Poland has risen by a third since the country joined the EU seven years ago, according to the EU statistics agency Eurostat. However it is still just a third of the EU average.
(March 2012) Daily News Digest -- Wed Mar 14, 2012: Key Irish and international business news at a glance; The resilience of the largest US financial firms when tested against a recession more severe than the last one shows regulators have succeeded in pushing banks to build fortress-like balance sheets... Determined to develop its nuclear industry to meet its booming energy needs, Poland is tired of lectures from its environmentally conscious neighbour Germany...The Greeks have deposited over €70bn in foreign banks for fear of their own country's institutions going bankrupt.
(March 2012) Daily News Digest -- Fri Mar 09, 2012: Key Irish and international news at a glance; The Greek government says it reached its target in the biggest sovereign restructuring in history...Consumers in Greece are buying potatoes directly from farmers and then selling them on the Internet at prices considerably lower than those offered by retailers... French President Nicolas Sarkozy said on Thursday he would fight with everything he has to win a second term but will bow out of politics if he loses an April-May election.
(January 2012) Daily News Digest - - Fri Jan 27, 2012: Key Irish and international news at a glance; A panel of European leaders at the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting in Davos-Klosters, Switzerland, voiced optimism over the latest efforts to establish a framework for fiscal discipline to save the euro. A top priority is re-establishing confidence in both the euro and in the ability of European countries to engage in serious belt tightening. Ireland’s Taoiseach, Enda Kenny, said that citizens in his country “simply went mad, borrowing” but that tight discipline including cuts in wages are now bringing the situation around.. .The Japan Times reports that the Japanese government will start talks next month on lowering the voting age from 20 to 18, Chief Cabinet Secretary Osamu Fujimura said Thursday. Though long debated, no panel meeting has been held on the issue since April 2010.
(January 2012) Daily News Digest - - Tues Jan 03, 2012: Key news at a glance; The new Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy has announced an income tax increase, breaking an election pledge. The left-liberal Spanish daily El País criticises the move, saying Rajoy deliberately lied in the election campaign: "It took six years for José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero to make a U-turn and do the opposite of what he had always promised. With Mariano Rajoy it took just six days. But the reasons for the so differently presented changes of heart are the same in both cases: the markets and Europe"...Tell someone from Germany that you are planning a trip to neighboring Poland and the response is likely to be one of barely concealed horror. Heading across the eastern border, after all, is considered to be the height of carelessness. Many see the country as little more than an oversized den of car thieves waiting to pounce.