Insight Central Europe News

New Polish government sworn in – economic reforms promised

Poland's President Lech Kaczynski swore in the country's new government under Prime Minister Donald Tusk on Friday. The ceremony at the presidential palace marks the start of a four-year term expected to improve Poland's relations with the EU. Relations became strained during the two-year rule of conservative Prime Minister Jaroslaw Kaczynski who is the president's twin brother. 50 year old Tusk is expected to push through a number of pro-business economic policies including more privatization, deregulation and a rapid adoption of the European common currency, the Euro.

Slovenia’s PM to seek vote-of-confidence in parliament

Slovene Prime Minister Janez Jansa says he will seek a parliamentary vote of confidence in his government following the landslide victory for an opposition backed candidate in presidential elections. Speaking on state television he said he would seek the vote of confidence and then "decide on my next steps." Earlier the Prime Minister suggested his centre-right cabinet could step down after Danilo Türk won nearly 70% of votes in last Sunday's election. Türk was backed by left wing opposition parties.

Slovak PM snubs Freedom and Democracy celebrations

Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico and his left-wing Smer party have said they will not be organising special events to mark November 17th - Freedom and Democracy day in Slovakia. Analysts say Fico is demonstrating his support for socialism. However the Czech Social Democrats are backing the November 17 commemoration and the Slovak National Party will lay a wreath at the memorial to the victims of totalitarian regimes at Ruzinov cemetery in Bratislava. The HZDS vice-chairman Milan Urbani will attend a forum on young people and democracy. The opposition parties have organised a joint commemorative event on Bratislava's SNP Square on Friday.

Czech Deputy PM says US bases in Czech national interest

The Czech Republic's deputy Prime Minister Alexander Vondra says that hosting part of a U.S. missile defense system is in the Czech national interest. Speaking to a conservative think-tank in Washington Vondra said the project would help boost US involvement in Central Europe. The US hopes to build radar bases in the Czech Republic and missile bases in Poland as part of a defence shield against Iran and North Korea. Vondra said he believes that threat is real, but that hosting the U.S. radar would provide other security benefits to Central Europe.

Hungary and Croatia invest in border region

Hungary and Croatia plan to invest nearly 23 million euros in their border region in order to promote tourism and development. Docks will be built on the Drava River, which separates the two countries, along with bicycle paths and nature conservation projects. Arpad Sardi, a Hungarian official, and representatives of three Croatian counties met to discuss the projects which are expected to enhance tourism and focus on environmental issues, the economy, research, culture and education.