Slovak prime minister Robert Fico emerged from last month's presidential elections a bruised and battered political figure – but his loss at the hands of novice politician Andrej Kiska is unlikely to have much of an impact on one of the EU's fastest growing economies.
The results of spring elections seem to be sealed. The Hungarians may be getting ready for the next four years of the rule by Viktor Orbán and his System of National Cooperation. The Prime Minister’s support is growing, owing much to his own political skills, but also to the opposition, which does not pose a serious challenge to the ruling Hungarian Civic Union, Fidesz.
Until recently Poland, the Czech Republic and Slovakia were seen as the countries with the best governing standards, the most solid banking systems, the most open to foreign investors and with generally predictable politics. There used to be a pretty easy split between the good and bad halves of central Europe but today it is becoming increasingly difficult to tell them apart.
The Hungarian government approached the Swiss government with a request for information concerning Hungarian citizens’ bank accounts in Switzerland. Budapest would like to have a bilateral agreement granting it access to all information concerning not only the balance on the bank accounts but also on their owners holding Hungarian passports.
Even if the investment wonder of Budapest is only an aberration in statistics, Poland could learn a lot from its fellow state. Hungary has developed a number of solutions that encourage enterprises to invest capital in the country. It is worthwhile to follow in their footsteps.
Petr Necas's determination to drive down the Czech Republic's budget deficit has been so strong that he sparked a political crisis which almost unseated his government and has many economists blaming him for the country's lengthy recession.
One of the reasons that Poland's economy has managed to survive successive waves of the global economic crisis is that it has a shock absorber in the form of its own currency − which is why support for joining the common currency has waned in recent years both in public opinion and among government leaders.