Insight Central Europe News

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Celebrations across Central Europe as border controls disappear

Central Europe celebrated the enlargement of the EU's passport -free travel zone on Friday. Poland, Hungary, Slovakia, Slovenia and the Czech Republic, along with 4 other EU member states joined the Schengen zone. Ceremonies were held across the region as border crossings were dismantled.

OSCE media envoy welcomes Hungary journalist acquittal

The OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media, Miklos Haraszti, has welcomed the acquittal of a Hungarian journalist who was charged with breaching secrecy laws. Antonia Radi, a leading investigative reporter, could have been sent to jail if convicted over her reporting on a criminal case. Hasraszti said prosecuting journalists for publishing leaked information should not happen in a democracy.

Slovenia says time for “Yugoslav crisis” to be over

Slovenia's foreign minister Dimirtij Rupel says his country wants to resolve the Kosovo crisis and speed up accession of former Yugoslav nations into the European Union during its presidency of the EU. Slovenia takes over the rotating presidency from Portugal on January 1st. Mr Rupel told journalists "it is high time for the Yugoslav crisis to be over."

Slovak unemployment continues downward trend

The unemployment rate in Slovakia continues to fall, reaching an all-time low of just under 8 percent in November. At the same time Slovakia's economy has been growing at a record rate driven by foreign investment in automotive and electronic manufacturing. Preliminary figures indicate GDP growth of over 9 percent this year.

Czech’s buy into Hungary’s MOL

The Czech Republic's main power utility CEZ AS is to buy a seven percent stake in Hungary's gas and oil company MOL. The two companies have also created a joint venture company in which each holds a 50 percent stake. MOL has recently been resisting take-over attempts by Austria's OMV.