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.
Good President Wenceslas: A Christmas short story by Alexander McCall Smith
Chill economic winds as well as a heavy winter are the backdrop to a modern retelling of a classic carol.
The underpaid Georgian workers who risk their lives for your Christmas tree
In Georgia’s northern mountains, workers scale daunting heights in search of the fir cones seeds that produce Europe’s favourite Christmas tree. But while foreign importers line their pockets, the climbers hazard all for a pittance.
Putin fires fresh salvo on Molotov-Ribbentrop pact, this time singling out Poland
Not for the first time this month, Russia’s Vladimir Putin has criticized a recent European resolution assigning some blame to the Soviet Union in the outbreak of World War II. This time, he focused on eastern Europe.
Thirty years after Romanian revolution, questions remain
New trial seeks to finally shed light on the chaotic days following the fall of communism.
‘Mother Nature recovers amazingly fast’: Reviving Ukraine’s rich wetlands
In the Danube Delta, removing dams and bringing back native species have restored ecosystems.
Azerbaijan: Snap elections are coming – and a new generation of politicians
The expected snap parliamentary elections will likely launch a new democratic era in Azerbaijan, giving the voters a further possibility to advance the reform process, writes Dr Ceyhun Osmanli.
‘Babies-for-sale’ scheme shocks Armenia
Armenia has launched an investigation into an apparent underground baby-selling network in the country.
Estonia optimistic about digital future after e-government drive
The hordes of stag and hen parties downing cheap booze in Estonia’s capital Tallinn may not know it, but they are enjoying their pre-marriage celebration in a technologically trailblazing country.
In Latvia, luxury synagogue opens in a beach resort for oligarchs
First Jewish house of worship built since the Holocaust, which only 200 of the country’s 90,000 Jews survived, fulfills an essential function, but is subject to seasonal woes.
The stories underpinning the culinary renaissance in Vilnius, Lithuania
Chefs in the Lithuanian capital are reanimating the country’s rich gastronomic heritage — almost lost amid the tragedies of the Soviet occupation.