"West, West, West!" in Eastern and Central Europe

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Re: "West, West, West!" in Eastern and Central Europe

Postby Sol Invictus » 2012-12-28, 17:33

Lada wrote:How much did it cost to buy out the apartment? Here it was almost for free.

Well, if you compare with current market prices it was nothing, but consider inflation and that many people in early 90s probably didn't have much to start with.
any business was banned AFAIK.

As it ever stopped anyone. I know for a fact that my mom rented a place (apparently nobody cared that much about legal details). What I meant is I don't know is if they asked for rent in state assigned apartments.

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Re: "West, West, West!" in Eastern and Central Europe

Postby TeneReef » 2012-12-28, 20:37

In the 1970ies and 80ies Croatians went shopping to Italy and Austria because they/we had money to spend. Now, we don't have to go to Trieste or Graz because we have Italian, Austrian and and German
stores here (from shopping malls to boutiques). But now we have no money to spend.

In the socialist times, 99% of people lived okay (traveling to other countries was not prohibited),
now 99% of people live with a personal debt (because the money needed for basic supplies is higher than the monthly wage). :roll: It's not that personal debt is created due to buying Armani or BMW,
but things like bread, milk, fruit, and paying electricity and gas bills. :roll:

The first thing Croatian telecom did after privatization (it was bough by Deutsche T-com)
was raise prices. Tcom internet prices in Croatia are 5-10 times more expensive
than the prices in Germany, for the same ''product''. (I pay 50 euro a month for this crappy
speed internet, and in Germany T-com charges 5 euro, and they get better speed and
no limits on data traffic).

In the socialist times, we had a more Scandinavian-like society (95% of people belonging to middle class). Capitalism and privatization gave us the Latin American model (all Croatian companies were sold to foreigners, from state oil agency to banks)...Once privatized, this once Croatian
but now foreign companies favor(ed) importing from abroad instead of producing locally...
50% of people got fired, the unemployment rate soared, the local economy vanished...
Now we live like in a Latin Amerika-like country...
200 of families own 80% of all Croatian profit.
The middle class is virtually no longer to be found, and we are poor.

We were like a poorer version of Sweden, now we are like richer version of Paraguay or Brazil. :cry: This ain't progress.

(The only thing we still have is the tourism sector. Thank God, we didn't embrace the Cape Verdian/Caribbean/ [insert the name of most island countries] model in which all hotels are owned by foreigners and local people don't see a penny
from this ''tourism'' money. 90% of Croatian tourism is generated through private accommodation services and by and family-run hotels, and only 10 % of tourism money goes to owners of foreign-owned hotel chains).
Last edited by TeneReef on 2012-12-28, 21:08, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: "West, West, West!" in Eastern and Central Europe

Postby Ashkhan » 2012-12-28, 21:06

TeneReef wrote:In the socialist times, 99% of people lived okay (traveling to other countries was not prohibited),
now 99% of people live with a personal debt (because the money needed for basic supplies is higher than the monthly wage). :roll: It's not that personal debt is created due to buying Armani or BMW,
but things like bread, milk, fruit, and paying electricity and gas bills. :roll:

Perhaps in Yugoslavia, because here in 70's and later life was a stagnation on the brink of death from starving as shops lacked in the most basic needs, with borders sealed blindly ever since Socialism was imposed on us. And that's the same for the entire Eastern Bloc: people lived "okay" as long as the irrational and ineffective Socialist economy was working up to a point; after crossing it everything went down the manhole.
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Re: "West, West, West!" in Eastern and Central Europe

Postby TeneReef » 2012-12-28, 21:15

Yugoslavia (1988.) Exports: $13.1 billion / Imports: $13.8 billion
Croatia (2007.)::: Exports: $12.02 billion / Imports: $26.54 billion

:?
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Re: "West, West, West!" in Eastern and Central Europe

Postby Ashkhan » 2012-12-28, 21:23

Yes, mate, I miss Yugoslavia too (no, really, I wish it still existed and I'd love to move there). But the fault's not in Capitalism but in Socialism - 45 years of central planning and all this bullshit made not only economical but also psychological injuries on the population, and one of them is people learning only just now how free market works.
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Re: "West, West, West!" in Eastern and Central Europe

Postby Sol Invictus » 2012-12-29, 1:55

TeneReef wrote:It's not that personal debt is created due to buying Armani or BMW,
but things like bread, milk, fruit, and paying electricity and gas bills. :roll:

After the monthly wage has been spent on Armani&stuff :P

Now we live like in a Latin Amerika-like country...
200 of families own 80% of all Croatian profit.
The middle class is virtually no longer to be found, and we are poor.

Ah, here we have one perfect example of "evil west" thinking :whistle:

Yugoslavia (1988.) Exports: $13.1 billion / Imports: $13.8 billion
Croatia (2007.)::: Exports: $12.02 billion / Imports: $26.54 billion

:?

Doesn't though it surprise you that Yugoslavia, which was larger than Croatia, had similar export output? I know you are hinting at import numbers, but it was bound to increase after opening markets

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Re: "West, West, West!" in Eastern and Central Europe

Postby Levo » 2013-01-09, 14:16

Sol Invictus wrote:
TeneReef wrote:It's not that personal debt is created due to buying Armani or BMW,
but things like bread, milk, fruit, and paying electricity and gas bills. :roll:

After the monthly wage has been spent on Armani&stuff :P

Now we live like in a Latin Amerika-like country...
200 of families own 80% of all Croatian profit.
The middle class is virtually no longer to be found, and we are poor.

Ah, here we have one perfect example of "evil west" thinking :whistle:

Sorry Sol, but I can't help asking it,
Out of these three sentences why do you think he is, in your words, an ""evil-West"-thinking" person?

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Re: "West, West, West!" in Eastern and Central Europe

Postby Sol Invictus » 2013-01-09, 23:55

Levo wrote:
Sol Invictus wrote:
TeneReef wrote:It's not that personal debt is created due to buying Armani or BMW,
but things like bread, milk, fruit, and paying electricity and gas bills. :roll:

After the monthly wage has been spent on Armani&stuff :P

Now we live like in a Latin Amerika-like country...
200 of families own 80% of all Croatian profit.
The middle class is virtually no longer to be found, and we are poor.

Ah, here we have one perfect example of "evil west" thinking :whistle:

Sorry Sol, but I can't help asking it,
Out of these three sentences why do you think he is, in your words, an ""evil-West"-thinking" person?

Out of three sentences loaded with memetic reasoning on how everything sucks due to modern capitalism?

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Re: "West, West, West!" in Eastern and Central Europe

Postby Ludwig Whitby » 2013-01-10, 1:17

Sol Invictus wrote:
Levo wrote:
Sol Invictus wrote:
TeneReef wrote:It's not that personal debt is created due to buying Armani or BMW,
but things like bread, milk, fruit, and paying electricity and gas bills. :roll:

After the monthly wage has been spent on Armani&stuff :P

Now we live like in a Latin Amerika-like country...
200 of families own 80% of all Croatian profit.
The middle class is virtually no longer to be found, and we are poor.

Ah, here we have one perfect example of "evil west" thinking :whistle:

Sorry Sol, but I can't help asking it,
Out of these three sentences why do you think he is, in your words, an ""evil-West"-thinking" person?

Out of three sentences loaded with memetic reasoning on how everything sucks due to modern capitalism?

Can you disprove them? There is an accumulation of wealth in an ever fewer number of hands. In communism, everyone had pretty much the same and after capitalism came a lot of people found themselves with far less than a newly formed elite.

We tend to think of Yugoslavia as the best possible country to live in, which is wrong. It had its share of problems, but neither that, nor the fact that you deem someone ''evil-west-guy'' should be enough to trivialize and laugh off the problems that are caused by modern capitalism.

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Re: "West, West, West!" in Eastern and Central Europe

Postby Sol Invictus » 2013-01-10, 3:08

Ludwig Whitby wrote:
Sol Invictus wrote:
Levo wrote:
Sol Invictus wrote:
TeneReef wrote:It's not that personal debt is created due to buying Armani or BMW,
but things like bread, milk, fruit, and paying electricity and gas bills. :roll:

After the monthly wage has been spent on Armani&stuff :P

Now we live like in a Latin Amerika-like country...
200 of families own 80% of all Croatian profit.
The middle class is virtually no longer to be found, and we are poor.

Ah, here we have one perfect example of "evil west" thinking :whistle:

Sorry Sol, but I can't help asking it,
Out of these three sentences why do you think he is, in your words, an ""evil-West"-thinking" person?

Out of three sentences loaded with memetic reasoning on how everything sucks due to modern capitalism?

Can you disprove them? There is an accumulation of wealth in an ever fewer number of hands. In communism, everyone had pretty much the same and after capitalism came a lot of people found themselves with far less than a newly formed elite.

We tend to think of Yugoslavia as the best possible country to live in, which is wrong. It had its share of problems, but neither that, nor the fact that you deem someone ''evil-west-guy'' should be enough to trivialize and laugh off the problems that are caused by modern capitalism.

Better question would be if you can prove any of it, especially "Latin American country" bit, Eastern and Central Europe is huge area with different life conditions yet it seems yowling is the same everywhere. The truthfulness of statistical claims made can ofcourse be checked against statistics statistics on poverty or economic inequality, it would appear that in particular case of Croatia, in which everyone ought to be poor, according to claim above, since there is no middle class and only members of select 200 families (which ones in particular?) are wealthy, there is as much income inequality as in Scandinavia and most people do not fall under any of definitions of poor.

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Re: "West, West, West!" in Eastern and Central Europe

Postby TeneReef » 2013-01-10, 6:45

Try his map instead:
http://www.prosperity.com/
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Re: "West, West, West!" in Eastern and Central Europe

Postby Sol Invictus » 2013-01-10, 23:58

Why? It doesn't really further your original point about non-existence off middle-class and everyone, except selected few, being poor. Matter of fact, if you explore their statistics deeper, it actually says 37% of Croatians are satisfied with living standard, which also suggests that you were wildly exaggerating, because these people must be either rich or middle class (and there still are those who are unhappy, but not really poor)

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Re: "West, West, West!" in Eastern and Central Europe

Postby Lietmotiv » 2013-01-11, 8:26

We spent our Christmas (the 7th of January) in the mountains in Romania. At first we wanted to go to Bukovel' (Ukraine) but the resort was full, so we had to go West.
We finally reached our destination near the city of Brasov, Romania. Since Romanians celebrate their Christmas on the 25th, there weren't many Romanians, but the resort itself was full of Moldavians and Ukrainians. The difference is obvious, what I've noticed is that our people used to live in 5* hotels, in the parking there were a lot of expensive cars with Moldavian and Ukrainian numbers, whereas the Romanians were dressed rather cheap and drive cheaper cars, as I've noticed.
So we asked ourselves, how come our country is so poor when there are so many rich people?

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Re: "West, West, West!" in Eastern and Central Europe

Postby Lada » 2013-01-11, 14:22

AndreiB wrote:The difference is obvious, what I've noticed is that our people used to live in 5* hotels, in the parking there were a lot of expensive cars with Moldavian and Ukrainian numbers, whereas the Romanians were dressed rather cheap and drive cheaper cars, as I've noticed.

That's because only "rich" people go abroad for holidays. Due to their concentration in one place you may have the wrong impression that everyone from Moldova or Ukraine is rich. Though actually it's not. In Siberia people wear very expensive clothes, mainly fur coats and I thought that they were rich. But it appeared that most people took credits.
So we asked ourselves, how come our country is so poor when there are so many rich people?

Much more people stayed at home I think. And in ex-USSR people don't like pay taxes, many create firms in off-shores. Basically all countries would be richer officially if there was no black economy.

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Re: "West, West, West!" in Eastern and Central Europe

Postby Ludwig Whitby » 2013-01-20, 21:27

Sol Invictus wrote:Better question would be if you can prove any of it, especially "Latin American country" bit, Eastern and Central Europe is huge area with different life conditions yet it seems yowling is the same everywhere. The truthfulness of statistical claims made can ofcourse be checked against statistics statistics on poverty or economic inequality, it would appear that in particular case of Croatia, in which everyone ought to be poor, according to claim above, since there is no middle class and only members of select 200 families (which ones in particular?) are wealthy, there is as much income inequality as in Scandinavia and most people do not fall under any of definitions of poor.

Ok. Thanks, that was a much better answer and I see your point. We might be a bit dramatic sometimes.

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Re: "West, West, West!" in Eastern and Central Europe

Postby Tenebrarum » 2013-01-21, 6:02

Ludwig Whitby wrote:There is an accumulation of wealth in an ever fewer number of hands. In communism, everyone had pretty much the same and after capitalism came a lot of people found themselves with far less than a newly formed elite.

Except that in a centrally planned economy, there exists an obscenely rich elite class anyway - see the Kim dynasty and co. - while everyone else is always short on stuff. When capitalism comes in, it just changes the means for people to display their wealth.

So if the hardcore communist years were "a dark world, where things are much worse than they look", the disillusioned reformist/post-communist years that follow would be "a dark world, where things are as bad as they look." Improvement?
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Re: "West, West, West!" in Eastern and Central Europe

Postby Levo » 2013-01-25, 12:39

Tenebrarum wrote:
Ludwig Whitby wrote:There is an accumulation of wealth in an ever fewer number of hands. In communism, everyone had pretty much the same and after capitalism came a lot of people found themselves with far less than a newly formed elite.

Except that in a centrally planned economy, there exists an obscenely rich elite class anyway - see the Kim dynasty and co. - while everyone else is always short on stuff. When capitalism comes in, it just changes the means for people to display their wealth.

So if the hardcore communist years were "a dark world, where things are much worse than they look", the disillusioned reformist/post-communist years that follow would be "a dark world, where things are as bad as they look." Improvement?


I understand your point, Tenebrarum.

In my opinion, the worst thing is that, everything that once (before communism), worked well with the given local circumstances, and guaranteed certain living conditions, were completely deteriorated. And after the Changing of the System there were no roots already to grow from.

(To give some examples, in Hungary, we had te so-called "agricultural-towns", very typical for the Great-Plain and other territories as well. (I heard it was similar in Poland and some Balkan territories). People were mostly engaged in agriculture, but they lived in the city. Its citizens enjoyed a very similar rights and freedom within the boundaries of the city, that their industrial free-king-city dweller counterparts did (mostly in Western Europe of the time), even though they didn't work in industries and commerce. Tax was paid by the city and not the individual, its citizens were free from the landlord's will and had their own courts in the city as well as other welfare institutions.
Tanya is connected to these cities. Free farmers owning their own land, belonging to the agricultural city administratively had their own "tanya". Tanyas were the most modern type of private farming until 1948 with a high rate of productivity. Hungary had serious exports from these economical units. Of course, they were all eliminated from the 1950's. And the agricultural towns lost their economy with it.
This is a very typical example.

by 1990 there were no roots any more to start from. ANd trying to build the same type of economy and economical units and reaching the same standards that are in Western Europe, based on the big nothing... is like impossible, and naturally will take decades... We are at 1/3 of productivity per person of that of Austria (after two decades of free market economy) and today there is no other way that the country follows, moreoever now there is EU which likes to tell everything how to do, so there is no even choice. (I'm telling all these facts with being pro-EU btw)

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Re: "West, West, West!" in Eastern and Central Europe

Postby Zireael » 2013-03-23, 18:12

The Polish also see themselves as poorer than i.e. Germans, but richer than the Ukrainians or Russians - sort of a west-east stratum.

I know that some Polish people along the border buy stuff in Germany or vice versa. I remember seeing exact comparisons of prices of everyday stuff on the TV once, but I don't recall it offhand.

And we have lower prices than the Kaliningrad Oblast, according to a newspaper I read a few days ago.
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Re: "West, West, West!" in Eastern and Central Europe

Postby TeneReef » 2013-03-26, 4:22

I guess the perception nowadays, at least in Croatia is not: West - East, but North - South.
Nordic countries are seen as an economic model, and they are the aim of new emigrants.
No one emigrates to Spain, Portugal, Italy...(France is not ''popular'' either).

Finland and Sweden have made no restrictions on the flow of workers from Croatia (starting from July 1st when Croatia enters the EU), so I guess people are already planning their ''invasion''. :rotfl:

Truth to be told, in the last years, according to government statistics, the largest number of emigrants (80% of them) have left for Canada, and not for an European country. (3% of emigrants left for Chile, 15% for EU, 2% for other countries). The toughest countries to emigrate to are: Australia, USA and Switzerland.
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Re: "West, West, West!" in Eastern and Central Europe

Postby Levo » 2013-03-26, 12:23

TeneReef wrote:I guess the perception nowadays, at least in Croatia is not: West - East, but North - South.
Nordic countries are seen as an economic model, and they are the aim of new emigrants.
No one emigrates to Spain, Portugal, Italy...(France is not ''popular'' either).

Finland and Sweden have made no restrictions on the flow of workers from Croatia (starting from July 1st when Croatia enters the EU), so I guess people are already planning their ''invasion''. :rotfl:

Truth to be told, in the last years, according to government statistics, the largest number of emigrants (80% of them) have left for Canada, and not for an European country. (3% of emigrants left for Chile, 15% for EU, 2% for other countries). The toughest countries to emigrate to are: Australia, USA and Switzerland.


Chile? :-O
I guess it has to do with the similar climate and natural geography in some parts, as well. Or?


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