Southeast Europe / Features

30 YEARS OF TRANSITION: CEE makes enormous progress but held back by governance issues

Clare Nuttall in Glasgow November 9, 2019

If half of the governance gap between Central Europe and the G7 countries was closed, income convergence would be brought forward by almost a generation, says EBRD chief economist Beata Javorcik in an interview with bne IntelliNews.

30 YEARS OF TRANSITION: The East-West convergence in numbers

Clare Nuttall in Glasgow November 9, 2019

30 years after the fall of the Berlin Wall the new EU members haven’t yet caught up with Western Europe — but they are drawing level with the Southern European states that were battered by the international economic crisis.

CEE monthly bond wrap: Bond issues in Eastern Europe pick up strongly in October, but activity subdued in Central Europe

Ben Aris in Berlin November 8, 2019

Bond issuers from Eastern Europe were active in October with 18 bonds issued worth a total of $4.5bn of which two-thirds of the value and 14 out of the 18 were Russian bonds, according to data provided by CBonds.

30 YEARS OF TRANSITION: A profound crisis of trust in democracy

Denitsa Koseva in Sofia November 7, 2019

Report from the Open Society Foundations reveals a “robust spirit of dissent, and a readiness to challenge those in power” as shown by mass anti-corruption protests in the Czech Republic, Romania and Slovakia.

30 YEARS OF TRANSITION: Central European automakers prepare for an electric future

Clare Nuttall in Glasgow November 6, 2019

Since the first years of the transition period, Central Europe started to emerge as a major manufacturing destination for Europe’s automotive industry. Now the industry is adapting to a new generation of technologies.

30 YEARS OF TRANSITION: “I was 30” commercial stirs controversy in Romania

Iulian Ernst in Bucharest November 4, 2019

A former dedicated communist who is now a member of the #Rezist! anti-corruption protest movement speaks about freedom in an advert for online retailer eMag that has raised uncomfortable questions about Romanian society.

30 YEARS OF TRANSITION: Corruption, racism and intolerance in Bulgaria

Denitsa Koseva in Sofia November 3, 2019

The first in bne IntelliNews’ series marking the 30th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall looks at democratic backsliding, persistent corruption and the rise of the far right in Bulgaria.

TURKEY INSIGHT: Loan renewals for banks progress undeterred amid sanctions ‘noise’ and EBRD’s bourse exit

Akin Nazli in Belgrade October 30, 2019

Development bank’s reported plan to make ‘protest sale’ of stock exchange stake hints that mounting difficulties are eating away at Erdogan’s regime but strongman is yet to face meaningful penalties from US or EU.

HALKBANK AFFAIR: US judge orders Turkey’s “fugitive” state lender to attend Iran sanctions evasion hearing

Akin Nazli in Belgrade October 24, 2019

Timeline of events so far centred on bank shows this is a case that could run and run. Roles of Trump and Erdogan in addressing affair under scrutiny.

TURKEY INSIGHT: Halkbank, busy dodging a US court, gets a rating watch negative from Fitch following Moody’s move

Akin Nazli October 23, 2019

Indictment restarts popular soap opera. Prosecutors think Erdogan has some explaining to do. New York judge says of convicted Atilla announced as new Istanbul stock exchange boss: “I suppose that’s one way of integrating back into society”.

30 years after fall of Berlin Wall Pew poll finds progress but a values fault line lies across Europe

Ben Aris in Berlin October 22, 2019

With the 30th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall due in November the Pew Research Center has released a report looking at how attitudes to democracy, liberal values and market economies have developed in the last 30 years.