Opinion

COMMENT: Southeast Europe the growth star in CEE banking, but the profit pool is elsewhere

Gunter Deuber of Raiffeisen Research in Vienna July 16, 2019

The core message for bankers and investors active in the CEE region should be: close to old records, potential for more but watch out for late cycle phenomena.

OPINION: Kosovo must not condone “murder by media” of powerful women

Anne Jolis and Hugo Stride July 12, 2019

In Europe’s youngest country, media freedom is flourishing — yet a controversial story published by a leading broadsheet has turned the spotlight on the serious risks to press freedom and gender equality that remain.

COMMENT: Ukraine poised for a new strong start after July’s elections

Tim Ash of BlueBay Asset Management July 12, 2019

Ukraine heads to the polls again for parliamentary elections on July 21, and expectations are building of another pro-reform vote to follow Volodymyr Zelenskiy’s landslide victory in the run off of the presidential election in April.

COMMENT: Sberbank’s chief economist says Russian inflation could come in below 4% in 2019

bne IntelliNews July 9, 2019

Sberbank’s chief economist says Russian inflation could come in below 4% in 2019

ING: Hungary’s budget is looking extremely good

Peter Virovacz of ING July 9, 2019

The Hungarian year-to-date general government deficit came in at HUF 390bn - only 39.1% of the full-year target, but we can't really say if this good performance is here to stay

Timothy Ash on trying to figure out the Turkish sacking of the central bank governor story

Timothy Ash Senior Sovereign Strategist at BlueBay Asset Management in London July 8, 2019

On June 6 Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan used his new executive president to sacked the governor of the Turkish central bank and markets tanked. What happens next?

COLCHIS: Running out of steam: Georgian politics after the May 2019 elections

Max Fras of the Eurasia Democratic Security Network July 4, 2019

The two big parties in Georgian politics are at each other's throats but they are losing their appeal. With a lack of alternatives or fresh political ideas most voters feel like political orphans

ING THINK: Russian GDP growth to pick up, modestly

Dmitri Dolgin chief economist Russia ING July 2, 2019

The scheduled pick-up in state-sponsored investments leaves hopes for a recovery in Russian GDP growth following the disappointing 0.5% YoY in 1Q19, but weak exports and consumption mean the recovery will be modest

COMMENT: Albania and North Macedonia's EU bids stymied by French political machinations

Ben Aris in Berlin July 1, 2019

The bids from Albania and Northern Macedonia have been bogged down by France, which is using the desire of some EU members to let the two small countries in as a bargaining chip in the hope of screwing concessions for its own agenda, says OSW.

OPINION: The 29th state

Hugo F. H. Stride in Tirana June 28, 2019

As Tirana burns, Junker’s vision of a 29th European state in the Western Balkans smoulders.

COLCHIS: Tbilisi’s protests and the Georgian Dream Political paradox

Lincoln Mitchell for the Eurasia Democratic Security Network June 25, 2019

A visit to Tbilisi by pro-Kremlin Russian parliamentarian Sergey Garilov brought thousands of protestors to the streets but the dramatic events are unlikely to have a big impact on Georgian politics

TURKEY INSIGHT: Imamoglu earthquake — Has Erdogan thrown in the towel?

Akin Nazli in Belgrade June 24, 2019

Don’t waste too much time on this question. Recep Tayyip Erdogan has not thrown in the towel. This conjuror, this polariser, who has made life in Turkey miserable for so many Turks since 2002, will be back for another round.

ING THINK: Russian household and corporate activity remain sluggish

Dmitri Dolgin chief economist Russia ING June 24, 2019

May data on household income and consumption is slightly better than expected although this could be down to one-off factors. Corporate activity is clearly subdued but may see some support from the scheduled pick up in state spending in the second ha

Why it’s tempting to think the Istanbul revote will bring about the end of Erdogan

Akin Nazli in Belgrade June 20, 2019

If this Machiavellian survivor loses, things might soon entirely unravel in a snap election. If he wins, it might be at the cost of hugely tarnishing his democratic legitimacy.

EU enlargement debate: Waiting for a differentiated “North Macedonia breakthrough”

Gunter Deuber of Raiffeisen Research in Vienna June 18, 2019

A move away from the “package solution” of a simultaneous start to accession negotiations with Albania and North Macedonia is needed. North Macedonia is the less politically controversial candidate and is in a better position economically.

COMMENT: Romania reaches new historical levels of foreign debt

Alexandru M. Tanase in London June 17, 2019

Amid the recent drama on Romania's political scene, nobody has paid any attention to a much more concerning trend: the fast increase of the Romanian foreign debt.

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