Global News Journal

Beyond the World news headlines

“Deja vu all over again” in struggling Hungary?

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Hungary has negotiated a $25 billion economic rescue package with the IMF, the EU and the World Bank. What else is new? As that non-Hungarian philosopher of gamesmanship Yogi Berra put it, it’s ”like déjà vu all over again”.  

 

Consider the words of historian Paul Lendvai who wrote: ”Its economy in tatters, Hungary accepts a loan of 250 million gold crowns.” “Fiscal stability was restored, a currency reform was introduced…and after a modest upswing the value of industrial production stood 12 percent higher…”

 

The date? The 1920s. The lender: The League of Nations. Only the details have changed.

 

Hungary seems never to have encountered a global financial crisis it didn’t jump into head first.

Where would we be without Europe?

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ECB headquarters in Frankfurt/Alex GrimmIf the financial crisis looks bad, I for one am thinking it might have been even worse — in the euro zone at least — had European countries not decided to pool their economies together by launching the single European currency.

I covered Europe in the 1980s from Belgium and Luxembourg when the idea of a single currency was still the pipe dream of a few old men who back in the 1950s had been inspired by the idea of a united Europe emerging from the rubble of World War Two.

Central Europe; a safe harbour in the financial storm

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euro.jpgIf being in the European Union were ever controversial in central Europe, the current financial turmoil may be delivering the ultimate proof that it was worth it.

While markets plunged in Russia and Turkey, the emerging markets of central Europe saw only muted reaction (some of their currencies are actually up on the year) largely because their EU status guarantees them access to easy money from the bloc.

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