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Koenen, Krisztina

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Die Welt - Germany | 12/12/2007

Krisztina Koenen on Eastern Europe's old elites

According to Krisztina Koenen, the former party functionaries of Eastern Europe have continued to spin their webs in society since the fall of communism. These "clan-like" alliances are the winners of the transition, she writes. "The view that individual persons or groups of persons, rather than the rule of law, impose the rules on society is prevalent throughout the political-economic elites. Now we are seeing the terrible consequences of the fact that during the socialist era the formation of elites outside the sphere of influence of the state parties was impossible. Nowadays all the different camps have distinctly dynastic structures: these people marry within their own elite, attend the same universities and look after the interests of each other's children. ... The upper ranks of the legal system, the central banks, the tax authorities and the police force are reserved for the members of the clan that has been elected into power. The financial sectors, companies, media and legal systems are divided up between the clans - or simply become the property of a clan for an entire legislative period."

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