Christian's Feed
Jul 27, 2013

Hungarian PM urges ethnic kin, scattered by history, to unite

BUDAPEST (Reuters) – Hungary’s prime minister, Viktor Orban, called on ethnic Hungarians around the world on Saturday to unite to build a strong nation, tapping into nostalgia for a country dismembered when Europe’s maps were re-drawn nearly a century ago.

Many Hungarians today view the 1920 Treaty of Trianon as a national tragedy because it took away two-thirds of the country’s territory and left millions of ethnic Hungarians living in what are now Romania, Slovakia, and Serbia.

Jul 26, 2013

Hungary PM says not planning a ‘Blitzkrieg’ on banks

BUDAPEST (Reuters) – Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban said on Friday a measure he is planning to help borrowers struggling with foreign currency mortgages would not wreck the country’s financial system.

Investors have already been battered by nearly four years of aggressively pro-consumer policies under Orban that have cost them huge sums of money and are bracing for more pain after his government said it was preparing more help for borrowers.

Jul 18, 2013

Weak economy clips wings of Poland’s fiscal hawk

WARSAW, July 18 (Reuters) – Poland’s decision this week to
suspend one of its budget rules so it can run a bigger deficit
was a U-turn for Jacek Rostowski, the finance minister who has
built a reputation as one of Europe’s toughest fiscal hawks.

Rostowski had been left with no choice but to accept the
policy shift, analysts said, under pressure from an economy that
has slowed more sharply than he expected and a prime minister,
Donald Tusk, worried that he will lose the next election if his
government does not stimulate growth.

Jul 16, 2013

Lithuania accused of stonewalling over CIA jail case

WARSAW/VILNIUS (Reuters) – Lawyers for a man who alleges he was held in a secret CIA jail in Lithuania have accused the Baltic state of failing to give proper answers to judges considering the case at the European Court of Human Rights.

Saudi-born Abu Zubaydah alleges that he was held, seven years ago, in Lithuania as part of a global CIA program to detain and interrogate suspected al Qaeda operatives.

Jul 9, 2013

Chevron wants more dialogue on Poland shale gas rules

WARSAW (Reuters) – Energy major Chevron (CVX.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) said on Tuesday it was committed to shale gas exploration in Poland though it wanted more consultation with the government on draft amendments to rules before they are adopted.

Three foreign firms – Exxon Mobil (XOM.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz), Talisman (TLM.TO: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) and Marathon (MRO.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) – have pulled out of Polish shale gas, citing difficult geology and short-comings in the regulatory environment.

Jun 19, 2013

Dozing prince a cult hero for disenchanted Czechs

PRAGUE (Reuters) – It was a moment of high drama: the Czech prime minister stood up in parliament to try to salvage a political career torpedoed by the arrest of an aide, and Foreign Minister Karel Schwarzenberg, sitting next to him, had dozed off.

Schwarzenberg’s habit of napping has, instead of being a liability, made him popular among Czechs fed up with their political class and its endemic corruption, and desperate for someone who breaks the mould.

Jun 17, 2013

EU governments tackle Poland over unpaid road-builders

WARSAW, June 17 (Reuters) – Six European Union states have
asked Poland to explain why it is not paying billions of euros
that foreign construction firms say they are owed for work
carried out under an EU-backed road-building programme.

Poland’s state roads agency says it is the contractors that
are at fault, but the dispute risks harming Warsaw’s reputation
in Brussels, which is pumping huge sums of development cash into
Polish roads and railways.

Jun 13, 2013

Downturn challenges Poland’s tea-drinking fiscal hawk

WARSAW (Reuters) – With his fondness for tea in china cups and upper-class English accent, British-born Jacek Rostowski projects an air of cultivated calm, but the economic slowdown has put his job as Poland’s finance minister in the balance.

Rostowski, an admirer of ex-British leader Margaret Thatcher, has overseen one of Europe’s few economic success stories. When its neighbors were in recession, Poland grew robustly for most of the past six years, and stuck to tough fiscal discipline.

Jun 12, 2013

Polish prosecutors get more time for CIA jail probe

WARSAW (Reuters) – Polish prosecutors have extended until October a five-year-old criminal investigation into allegations that the CIA ran secret jails on Polish soil, a case human rights activists say the authorities are deliberately dragging out.

The United States has acknowledged it used a network of facilities in foreign countries to detain al Qaeda suspects in the aftermath of the September 11, 2001 attacks on U.S. cities, though it has never disclosed their location.

May 15, 2013

Polish city offers lifeline to struggling German neighbors

GARTZ, Germany (Reuters) – Like most people in Szczecin, a port city on the western edge of Poland, businessman Zbigniew Sawicki thought that when his country joined the European Union a decade ago, wealthier German neighbors would pour in and buy up the city.

But events took an unexpected turn. Large numbers of well-to-do Poles from Szceczin, including many of Sawicki’s friends, are moving into Germany and buying properties on such a scale that sleepy Prussian villages are taking on a Polish air.