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Analyses | | Artur Ciechanowicz, Marta Zawilska-Florczuk
The heated debate over Thilo Sarrazin’s chauvinist theses shows the real scale of problems linked to immigrant integration in Germany.
Analyses |
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) on 1 August granted consent for a raise in public sector wages and a re-evaluation of pensions and social allowances in January 2011, the first one since 2009. The government hopes that this move will improve public sentiment and stimulate economic growth.
Analyses |
On 5 September, the ministers of environmental protection and the economy developed a compromise draft new energy policy for Germany. The key guidelines of this strategy include an extension of the operation period of nuclear reactors on average by 12 years, the development of renewable energy sources, which are to cover 50% of electric energy consumption in 2030, and a reduction of energy consumption (especially in the construction industry). The strategy, before being implemented, has yet to be approved by the government and, in the case of the nuclear power sector provisions, by the Constitutional Court (the opposition has promised to contest it).
Analyses |
Turkey’s President Abdullah Gul visited Bosnia and Herzegovina on 2 – 3 September. This visit by a representative of the Turkish state to the Balkans following on the heels of previous visits proves Ankara’s increasing interest in this region. However, this stronger engagement in BiH has provoked protests from Bosnian Serb leaders, who are accusing Turkey of supporting the policy of Bosnian Muslims.
Analyses |
The Central Council of Jews in Germany has suspended its participation in the work of the Board of the Foundation Flight, Expulsion, Reconciliation, which is in charge of building the expulsions museum. According to the organisation which represents Jews in Germany, some members of the Foundation’s Board propagate ‘revanchist views’ and do not guarantee that the institution will be functioning in a reliable way.
Analyses | | Jadwiga Rogoża
Concessions by the Russian government in face of protests are intended to neutralise the dissatisfaction of active groups in Russian society.
Analyses |
No investment offers came in to the open tender to sell majority stakeholdings of three Belarusian enterprises, designated for 18 August. This indicates that the Belarusian government still cannot enlist foreign investors on a wider scale.
Analyses |
On 19-22 August, the President of the Russian Federation Dmitri Medvedev visited Yerevan with a delegation including the foreign and defence ministers. During the visit, a range of documents was signed strengthening Armenia’s military, political and economic dependence on Russia, and in more general terms – reinforcing Russia’s position in the Southern Caucasus. This is part of the re-activation of Russian policy to regain control over the region.
Analyses |
On 21 August Sergei Kiriyenko, the head of the Federal Atomic Energy Agency Rosatom, participated in the formal procedure of the activating first Iranian nuclear power plant in Bushehr (which was built by Atomstroyeksport, a company belonging to Rosatom). The decision to finalise the power plant’s construction at this moment is political in nature (the deadline for activating the plant had repeatedly been postponed), and will serve first and foremost to improve relations between Russia and Iran, which had been damaged in recent months. It is also a demonstration of Moscow’s independence on the international stage, in a situation where relations between Russia and the West have been improving.
Analyses |
On 24 August, Moldova’s Ministry of Agriculture stated that Russia had almost completely blocked its imports of Moldovan fruits and vegetables. The official reason for this was that pesticides had allegedly been discovered in them. The Russian government’s decision is the latest trade restriction imposed on Moldova, after the informal introduction at the beginning of August of a partial embargo on the import of wine. In this way Russia demonstrated its dissatisfaction with the ruling pro-Western coalition’s policy, and is also attempting to influence the result of the parliamentary elections scheduled for autumn.