Political Tension in Romania
The Romanian political scene is very tense... With EU membership in its pocket and with pressure from Brussels subsiding, Romania is at a critical moment. The good steps taken so far in giving independence to the judiciary and combating corruption are no longer popular measures among the majority of Romania’s politicians.
Draft dodging, Russian style
It’s a fact of life...and death. Service in the military always carries the risk of dying in battle. But recruits in the RUSSIAN army face an additional risk. They stand a chance of dying at the hands of older conscripts. Abusive treatment of army recruits in Russia is widespread - with hazing blamed for hundreds of suicides and…thousands of desertions each year.
Poll Frenzy in French Press
The French presidential elections are two months away, but newspapers and magazines are already trying to say who will win…. Opinion polls abound- almost one a day, pitting the front runners, Nicolas Sarkozy and Segolene Royale against others who are not even on the ballot yet. The official list of candidates won’t be firmed up until the end of March.
Estonian-Swedes Embrace Cultural Autonomy Rights
It may be fairly well-known that the Swedish language thrives in neighbouring country, Finland, where more than 5 per cent of the population speaks it as their mother tongue.
But while they are really only a ”linguistic” minority, efforts are being stepped up to recognise people with a Swedish background in another nearby nation....Estonia.
It too has a long common history with Sweden, and now a Cultural Council’s been set up there to make full use of the ”Estonian-Swedes” cultural autonomy rights.
15 Years of the Internet in the Czech Republic
The internet is such a huge part of our lives it’s hard to imagine a time before it existed. But it is of course a relatively new phenomenon. In Prague this month they are marking the 15th anniversary of the day the Czechs officially hooked up to the net - few would have imagined in 1992 just how big a step they were taking. The man who connected the then Czechoslovakia to the web was Jan Gruntorad.