Central Europe / Features

Digital propaganda revolution dominates Slovak election campaign

Albin Sybera in Bratisava September 30, 2023

President Zuzana Caputova has been repeatedly warning that her country is in an “information storm”.

Slovak election goes right down to the wire

Albin Sybera September 29, 2023

Slovaks head to the polls on September 30 in an early election that is both vital for the country’s future and perhaps the future of Central Europe.

Slovak strongman Robert Fico follows the Orban playbook

Robert Anderson in Bratislava September 27, 2023

Opponents warn that if Fico wins this weekend's election he will follow Hungarian strongman Viktor Orban’s playbook by hollowing out the country’s democracy and cosying up to the Kremlin, making Slovakia another European renegade.

INTERVIEW: Michal Simecka, Progressive Slovakia leader

Robert Anderson in Bratislava, Albin Sybera in Bratislava September 24, 2023

Liberal leader says populist rival Robert Fico would become Hungarian strongman Viktor Orban's partner in pushing Russian interests inside the EU.

Eastern EU members building roads instead of railways

bne IntelliNews September 23, 2023

Across the EU far more has been invested in roads than railways over the last three decades, but this trend is even stronger in the newer EU members, a study commissioned by Greenpeace finds.

PROFILE: Michal Simecka, leader of Progressive Slovakia

Robert Anderson in Bratislava September 22, 2023

There is a real hope that a late surge of support from the estimated one quarter of undecided voters could push Michal Simecka's Progressives into first place at the September 30 general election.

Onetime 'King of Europe' Tusk now fights to lead Poland

Wojciech Kosc in Warsaw September 15, 2023

The former premier and European Council president has restored faith in the Civic Platform party but the road to end PiS’ rule remains as steep as ever.

bneGREEN: EV battery manufacturers plug into Southeast Europe

bne IntelliNews September 11, 2023

Southeast Europe is already home to some high-profile electro-mobility companies. Now, it's becoming a location for battery manufacturing too.

Ukrainian refugees become populist targets in Czechia

Albin Sybera September 6, 2023

Even though two thirds of refugees live below the poverty line and their financial support has just been cut, populists are whipping up tensions, particularly with the country's Roma minority.

Polish far-right parties could dictate next government

Wojciech Kosc in Warsaw September 1, 2023

Konfederacja nurtures its anti-establishment image and denies speculation about joining a future coalition after next month's election.

Czech coalition drifts towards defeat

Robert Anderson, Albin Sybera August 23, 2023

The government is one of the most unpopular ever and it appears to be only talking to its own supporters.

Czech pubs struggle to get back on their feet after pandemic

Lyle Frink in Prague August 17, 2023

Tourists are back in Prague but VAT rises and the cost of living crisis are hurting country pubs.

Hungarian banks struggling to cope with the inflation “public enemy”

bne IntelliNews August 8, 2023

The high inflation environment in Hungary is a big headache for the country’s bankers and is putting profits under pressure. And to make matters worse the authorities have raised taxes on the sector.

CEE easing cycles around the corner

Ben Aris in Berlin August 7, 2023

With inflation passing its peak in most of the countries of Central and Eastern Europe, central bankers are switching gears from aggressively tightening rates to curb price rises to starting to cut rates to support growth.

Storms follow heatwaves to batter Southeast Europe’s crops

bne IntelliNews July 28, 2023

Extensive damage to crops in region, as deadly storms follow record heat.

New initiative to tackle brain drain in Western Balkans

Valentina Dimitrievska July 19, 2023

Fund to foster collaboration between vocational education and training institutions and companies across WB6 economies.

OBITUARY: Milan Kundera, one of Central Europe's greatest writers about the communist experience

Albin Sybera July 12, 2023

Kundera had a complicated relationship with Czechoslovakia, which he left in 1975. He wrote all of his later works in French and later referred to himself as a French writer.

How Vilnius became the safest yet emptiest capital

Linas Jegelevicius in Vilnius July 11, 2023

President Gitanas Nauseda has rejected criticism over what some say is a splurge of taxpayer money, saying: “Let's not beat our chests for deciding to paint our lips a little bit”.

Emerging Europe's longest-lasting leaders

Clare Nuttall in Glasgow July 7, 2023

Some leaders of Emerging Europe and Central Asia led their countries for decades. bne IntelliNews ranks them by their time in power.

Nearshoring drives hike in demand for industrial space in Southeast Europe

Clare Nuttall in Glasgow July 7, 2023

Demand for industrial and logistics space is increasing in Southeast Europe, spurred on by the region’s growing importance as a nearshoring destination serving Western and Central Europe.