Defusing populism: Elsewhere in emerging Europe

Our weekly digest of articles about emerging Europe published elsewhere this week, all of which caught our eye and all of which are well worth your time. Listing them here, however, does not necessarily mean that we agree with every word, nor do they necessarily reflect Emerging Europe’s editorial policy.

Slovakia’s president suggests a way out of the world’s populist quagmire

Zuzana Čaputová, an environmental lawyer and social liberal, had spent many years battling a landfill that would have polluted the air and water of the region. Angered by the murders, Čaputová entered the presidential campaign in March 2018 as the candidate for the tiny Progressive Slovakia party. A year later, she won. In an interview for the Washington Post, she speaks to Anne Applebaum about her plans.

Read the full story here.

Budapest’s new mayor: my win proves there’s more to Hungary than Orbán

The newly elected mayor of Budapest, Gergely Karácsony, has vowed to prove to the rest of Europe that there is more to Hungary than the politics of its far-right prime minister, Viktor Orbán.

Read the full story here.

Eastern Europe’s workers finally get paid

The region’s populist governments are raising minimum wages as fast as they can, and it helps the economies — for now.

Read the full story here.

East Germany 1989 – the march that KO’d communism

Nobody had a mobile phone or social media to mobilise supporters back in 1989. But East Germans fed up with communism poured into the streets of Leipzig, despite extraordinary restrictions on their personal freedom. “We didn’t have a phone at home – we weren’t allowed, and they would have been listening in any case,” recalls Katrin Hattenhauer, one of the organisers of the Monday demonstrations in Leipzig, East Germany’s second city.

Read the full story here.

Why Romania is importing waste from abroad

Romania is drowning in waste and most of the landfills are overflowing. The recycling companies in charge of reprocessing the country’s waste are at risk of not producing enough. This has driven those companies to import selected waste from countries like Britain.

Watch the full report here.

The mass murder of Polish intellectuals — and the German Nazis who got away with it

By the time Wladyslaw Bielinski’s remains were discovered in a mass grave, one of the perpetrators, Jakob Lölgen, was returning to Germany as a respected citizen. He was never punished for his actions in Poland.

Read the full story here.

So: Bulgaria bad, England good? Actually this is not as black and white as it seems

It was not that long ago Raheem Sterling was being vilified by sections of English press and supporters, and hypocrisy has been rife since England’s match against Bulgaria in Sofia on October 13.

Read the full story here.

Georgia is buffing up its credentials as a European cultural destination

Music is key to Georgia’s plans to grab tourists’ attention and boost its profile on the world stage. Tsinandali Festival is an example. The programme of classical music has brought renowned musicians such as the Chinese pianist Yuja Wang to the rural Caucasus.

Read the full story here.

Moldova probe into former government: ‘Closure’ or ‘Witch Hunt’?

The country’s new rulers risk repeating past mistakes if they allow an investigation into the former’s government’s abuses to get mixed up with the politics of revenge.

Read the full story here.

Revisiting Bosnia’s wars

Two Bosnian authors revisit the horror of the 1990s. Their experiences—and their books—are very different.

Read the full story here.

Estonian documentary about Soviet-era hippies premieres in the UK

Soviet Hippies, an Estonian documentary directed by Terje Toomistu, had its UK premiere in Manchester on October 10. Later in the month it will also be screened in London.

Read the full story here.