What Judgement Should Be Made About The Success Of Political And Economic Transition In Central And Eastern Europe?

2716 words - 11 pages

There has been of course many changes since 1989. To understand this we should analyze how the situation before the revolution. Before 1989 there was no political freedom. There were elections, but there was only one candidate, down from the city councils up to the MPs, all of them were nominated by an almighty party. The most powerful man was not president, neither Prime minister, but the leader of the party. He was also responsible to the leader of the party in USSR. There was no freedom of religion; every priest had to be issued a special admission to work as one. The Bishops were nominated, the orders were denied. People were not allowed to travel. They had to be permitted to travel abroad. For most of the people it was impossible to go to West Europe or Australia (not mentioning USA). The media was also controlled. So were the books. Only someone could study university or do some jobs. In Czechoslovakia, after 1968 many professors were kicked from universities and were given jobs in factories or so. Also there was the end of enterprise, a lot of poverty and the crushing of free thought.All this have changed. After the wall of Berlin and the collapse of Communism there was a change in the lives of the people of central and Eastern Europe. There was also a change also in the political and economic systems which I am going to analyze in this essay.The revolution of 1989 was extremely peaceful ,with the exception of Romania where President Ceausescu and his wife were shot, the old unpopular regimes were swept away without the use of excessive violence. However after this bloodless revolution things were becoming more tense. Such examples are most of the Balkans, chunks of ex-Soviet Central Asia and also the Southern part of Russia itself including Chechnya. However central Europe has remained peaceful since 1989.The worst violence in this region was because of the ethnic problem. Russia has had its problems with its multi-ethnic population (like Chechnya). However the worst tragedy was Yugoslavia's break up and the war in Bosnia. The massacre of around 7,000 Muslims by the Serbs was such example of horror seen after 1989. The conflict in Kosovo gave NATO its first time to participate directly since it was created for defense against the Soviet Union.Some 27 countries ( with the exception of Montenegro leaving Yugoslavia, Kosovo and Chechnya) have emerged out of the 8 in the Communist era. Most of these 28 countries are nowadays looking west and also want to join the EU and be part of Europe. The iron curtain which crossed Europe into two-capitalist and communist is no longer existent. Countries like Poland, Czech Republic and Hungary have moved westwards and in 2004 are becoming members of the European Union. Estonia, the most Northern ex Communist state has integrated with the Nordic countries. Moldova may one day join Romania. Latvia and Slovakia however were more pulled towards Russia but a new liberal coalition in Slovakia put again the...

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