Ukraine after Abromavicius’s resignation

Aivaras Abromavicius, former Ukrainian Minister of Economy (East Capital, CC BY)

Polish PM in Norway talks about diversification of energy resources

Croatia and Hungary want to strengthen their economic cooperation

Demographic problems in Czech Republic

Ukraine

The Ukrainian Economy Minister Aivaras Abromavicius resigned on February 3rd, citing high-level corruption. It’s the third resignation of a high official in Ukraine in four weeks. Before Abromavicius also Oleksiy Pavlenko and Andriy Pyvovarsky left their office – respectively the Agriculture Ministry and Infrastructure Ministry. VoxUkraine which, together with other NGO’s and intellectuals, is monitoring the process of democratization of Ukraine published an on open letter explaining its concerns about the situation in the country. VoxUkraine claims Mr. Abromavicius’s resignation puts into question the ambitious plans for reforming the country as well as threatens the fragile political balance. >>read more: Varangians in Kiev

“Statement by Minister for Economic Development and Trade Aivaras Abromavicius can trigger a political crisis with unpredictable outcomes. It reduces trust in all branches of power,” it wrote in an open letter. The signatories point out that no one answered (nor did the President) to the accusations of Mr. Abromavicius, Mr. Pavlenko and Mr. Pyvovarsky, so the situation gives signal to the public opinion and to international partners that situation in Ukraine gets out of the hand. “The country is at a critical point and the responsibility of the legitimately elected political leadership is to stabilize the situation,” they wrote. The signatories list the possible consequences of the possible crisis, and among them:

  1. loss of actual legitimacy by President Petro Poroshenko (and thus putting on hold the reform efforts and corruption fighting);
  2. eliminating opportunities for the constitutional reform and Minsk II format;
  3. simplifying the task for the Russian government to destroy the Ukrainian state.

>>read also: Ukraine should be forces to reforms

VoxUkraine claims a transparent and impartial investigation should be undertaken to make situation to provide true answers to the public opinion. These are steps needed to get the situation under control:

  1. An immediate public reaction by the President to the Minister’s statement. The President should take the responsibility to solve this crisis. The society has the right to know the leader’s position on these accusations;
  2. An immediate temporary suspension of President’s subordinates mentioned in the statement, while requesting the specialized anti-corruption prosecution office and National Anti-Corruption Bureau to investigate the accusations;
  3. All persons mentioned in the Minister’s statement who are not directly subordinate to the President should be suspended from their job in the government until the investigation is completed;
  4. There should be an independent investigation concerning all personalities and facts mentioned in the Minister’s statement; the progress and results of this investigation should be made public;
  5. Upon results of the investigation, an independent court should make a decision according to current legislation.

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Poland

Polish Prime Minister Beata Szydlo visited Oslo, Norway on February 2nd. The most important topics of the agenda were diversification of energy resources and mutual co-operation. Polskie Radio reports that “fuel imports and a return to the gas pipeline project linking Norway and Poland were the major topics of the talks Beata Szydło had held with her host Erna Solberg”. Polskie Radio also quotes Mr Janusz Steinhoff, a former Economy Minister of Poland, saying Poland would be in a different position if the project has been completed.

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Croatia-Hungary

“Croatia’s new Foreign Minister has set off for Budapest as the new center-right government moves to repair its rocky ties with Hungary,” Balkan Insight reports. Miro Kovac met his Hungarian counterpart, Peter Szijjarto during his first official visit to Hungary. In the previous months the Croatian-Hungarian relations were burdened by rows over refugees and over INA.  Apart from the political issues that were the bone of contention between Hungary and Croatia, there was also the problem of the arbitration process between the Hungarian energy giant MOL and the Croatian state. It is about the management rights of the Croatian energy company INA in which MOL controls just over 49 per cent of the shares. Now, as the new center-right government led by Croatian Democratic Union was established, the reset in relation between the two countries is getting more possible. “Croatia and Hungary are two friendly countries, our friendship is historically strong and on this basis we’ll resolve all the open issues,” Balkan Insight quotes Kovac. At the same time the Hungarian minister voiced satisfaction that center-right political options were now in charge in Croatia. “I am satisfied that their [center-right] option won in Croatia, and so I congratulate you Miro [Kovac] in particular, as my colleague, and all the members of the new Croatian government,” he said.

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Czech Republic

“The number of young Czechs working has been decreasing since the early 1990s. The employment rate of people between the ages of 15 to 24 in the Czech Republic is the lowest in the EU,” Radio Praha reports quoting the Czech Statistical Office. As the data from CSO shows in 1993 there were about 800,000 people between the age of 15 and 24 working in the Czech Republic. In 2015there were only 300,000 of them. Experts claim this is due to the changes in the country’s educational system and the demographic processes “the slump reflects the radical changes in the development of population since the 1990s. It also points at the changes in our educational system, which has shifted to university education,” Dalibor Holý, an expert on labor market and equal opportunities, comments for the daily Hospodářské Noviny. On the other hand, the number of working Czechs between the age of 55 and 64 has been gradually increasing. In 1993 there were 315,000 of them. In 2014 the number reached 770,000. The length of working activity in the Czech Republic was estimated at 34.9 years in 2014. It’s a bit below EU average which is 35.5.

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What’s up in indexes?

Only OMXT, SAX and UX grew Tuesday, February 2nd.

BUX (of Budapest) dropped by 0.69 per cent Wednesday, February 3nd. It fell from 23558.48 index points Tuesday to 23395.73 index points Wednesday. From year-end it dropped by 2.19 per cent.

BET (of Bucharest Stock Exchange) dropped by 0.26 per cent – decreasing from 6305.73 index points Tuesday, February 2nd to 6289.55 index points Wednesday, February 3rd. From year-end it lost 10.20 per cent.

PX (of Prague) decreased from 902.20 index points Tuesday, February 2nd to 886.72 index points Wednesday, February 3rd. So it dropped by 1.72 per cent d/d and by 7.28 per cent from year-end.

WIG20 (of Warsaw) was up 0.43 per cent – climbing from 1731.64 index points Tuesday, February 2nd to 1739.08 per cent Wednesday, February 3rd. From year-end dropped by 6.46 per cent.

OMXT (of Tallinn) increased from 885.92 index points Tuesday, February 2nd to 891.31 index points Wednesday, February 3rd. So it’s up 0.61 per cent d/d but from year-end it lost 0.85 per cent.

OMXR (of Riga) lost 0.22 per cent – decreasing from 617.62 index points Tuesday, February 2nd to 616.27 index points Wednesday, February 3rd. From year-end it’s up 3.69 per cent.

OMXV (of Vilnius) was up 0.42 per cent d/d and up 0.13 per cent from year-end. Wednesday, February 3rd the index closed at 486.61 index points. The day before it closed at 484.59 index points.

SAX (of Bratislava) grew by 0.30 per cent Wednesday, February 3rd. It increased from 305.75 index points Tuesday, February 2nd to 306.67 index points Wednesday, February 3rd. From year-end it grew by 4.90 per cent.

SOFIX (of Sofia) lost 0.31 per cent Wednesday, February 3rd. It closed at 448.76 index points. Tuesday it closed at 450.15 index points. From year-end it dropped by 2.63 per cent.

UX (of Kyiv) decreased from 642.65 index points Tuesday, February 2nd to 637.82 index points Wednesday, February 3rd. So it dropped by 0.75 per cent d/d and by 7.00 per cent from year-end.

CROBEX (of Zagreb Stock Exchange) was up 0.14 per cent Wednesday, February 3rd – closing at 1608.18 index points. The day before it closed at 1605.91 index points. From year-end it dropped by 4.82 per cent.

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