It wasn’t only rock ‘n’ roll – and Czechs liked it: 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.

It wasn’t only rock ‘n’ roll – and Czechs liked it

The former political regime in Czechoslovakia deemed much of Western culture “damaging” and “ideologically subversive”, but authorities struggled in particular to control the flood of foreign rock ’n’ roll and pop music.

Read the full story here.

Craft beer and avocado toast

In keeping with his unconventional image, Ukraine’s president Volodymyr Zelensky took a different approach during a rare press event, inviting journalists to a hip new artisanal food hall in Kyiv to answer questions all day – and into the evening.

Read the full story here.

Croatian government woos right-wingers with war symbolism

With elections approaching, the ruling Croatian Democratic Union is again using the 1990s war to cynically appeal to right-wing voters by making the commemoration of the fall of the town of Vukovar a national holiday.

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Top secret Russian unit seeking to destabilise Europe, security officials say

Despite it having been in operation for at least a decade, Western intelligence agencies have only recently learned of the prolific Unit 29155.

Read the full story here.

Romania’s deadly roads

Romania has the highest deaths per capita on its roads than anywhere in the European Union, with 96 fatalities per one million inhabitants in 2018 compared to an average of 49 among all 28 EU nations.

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Outrage in Albania, Bosnia, Kosovo over Handke’s Nobel win

Austrian writer Peter Handke’s Nobel literature prize win has sparked outrage in Albania, Bosnia and Kosovo, where he is widely seen as an admirer of late Serbian strongman Slobodan Milosevic.

Read the full story here.

Le Pen’s Bulgarian ally under the spotlight for cross-border medicine trafficking

Vesselin Mareshki gained international prominence when French far-right leader Marine le Pen chose him as her political ally in Bulgaria. But things started to go wrong when Mareshki lost the European elections in May. Now, judges have recognised him as the mastermind of a cross-border network of medicine traffickers.

Read the full story here.

NATO’s membership needs a change

NATO has to change. Specifically, Turkey has got to go, and it should be replaced by Georgia and Ukraine.

Read the full story here.

Poland has set up a scouting network to identify the best footballers in Britain’s one million-strong Polish community

Talent-spotters hope to convince young Poles to play for mother country

Read the full story here.

Photo: Archive of Czech National Museum