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Nitovuori, Bjarne

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3 articles of this author have been cited in the European Press Review so far.

Hufvudstadsbladet - Finland | 06/08/2007

The controversial role of Gyula Horn

Hungarian President Laszlo Solyom recently prevented former Foreign Minister Gyula Horn from being awarded the nation's most prestigious honour. This has reignited the debate about Horn's contribution to the system change in 1989 and above all about his role in the communist regime and during the 1956 uprising in Hungary. Horn took part in the crushing of the uprising as a member of the so-called "padded jacket brigade". Bjarne Nitovuori comments from a Finnish perspective: "It was Horn who in his capacity as Foreign Minister together with his Austrian counterpart Alois Mock cut through the barbed wire between the two countries on 27 June 1989. According to the myth prevalent in the West, this facilitated the escape of thousands of Eastern Germans, which in turn led to the fall of the Berlin Wall in November 1989. ... One should not forget that the transition from a one-party system to a democracy would not have been as peaceful without the support of reforming communists like Horn. Hungary and Poland are examples of a revolution which was achieved at the negotiating table."

Hufvudstadsbladet - Finland | 14/08/2006

Bjarne Nitovuori on populism in Europe

Bjarne Nitovuori notes a disquieting increase in populism in Central and Eastern Europe. Nitovuori points out that more than two months after the Czech parliamentary elections, Prague still doesn't have a government, while in Poland and Slovakia the populists are already in power. This, Nitovuori asserts, could cost the Visegrad countries their reputation as the more advanced post-communist states. "But the leaders of the old EU states are also to blame. The populist parties' success is partly a result of widespread disappointment with EU membership and the flagging commitment of the older states, manifest in continued restrictions in free movement of workers and lower subsidies. In other respects too, the established EU states have little reason to be proud of their performance. Italy had a head of government (Silvio Berlusconi) with a reputation that was far from immaculate, and xenophobic and racist parties are making their mark in France, Holland, Belgium and Denmark. The problems in new democracies are often attributed to their authoritarian past, but the true causes lie in the present."

Hufvudstadsbladet - Finland | 11/04/2006

The parliamentary elections in Hungary

Bjarne Nitovuori looks forward to the beginning of a new period of stability in Hungary following the first round in its parliamentary elections, after which it seems highly likely that Prime Minister Ferenc Gyurcsány will remain in power. "If Gyurcsány wins the second round on April 23, he will become the first Hungarian prime minister to be allowed to stay in office for a second term since the fall of communism. In other respects, however, Hungary's politics shows a high degree of stability in comparison with other post-socialist states. All four parties represented in the new parliament competed in the first elections in 1990. However, back then the MDF and SZDSZ were the two main parties, while the socialists and Fidesz were the small ones. Today, it's the other way round."

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