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Glorious Eastern Europe: Economy and Military Issues


Eastern Europe was in an exciting place when the wall fell in 1989-91. Everyone thought that the year of economic stagnation that had occurred in the countries of the Czech Republic, East Germany, Poland, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Slovakia, Hungary, Moldova, Romania, Bulgaria, Belarus and Ukraine under the authoritarian rule of the Politburo in Moscow had come to an end. However, what followed was an immigration crisis and a seldom talked about economic calamity that drove many of the countries to take harsh economic measures.

The Eastern European countries mentioned above, faced challenges in bringing about the six "elements of transition to a market economy: macroeconomic stabilization; price liberalization; trade liberalization and current account convertibility; enterprise reform (especially privatization); creation of a social safety net; development of institutional and legal framework."

(Stark, pg 3,

Transitioning into a communist government had a formula, even if that formula was faulty. Transitioning out of a Communist and Centrally planned economic policy driven government, however, did not have one. The shocks that occurred because of the free-marketization of the countries drove many residents to flee to Western Europe and the Americas in order to look for better economic opportunities and to support their families back home. This fueled human immigration numbers that rival that of the current European refugee crisis. The reunification of Eastern and Western Germany was also an issue, due to the industrialized western half having to assume the debts and burdens of the backwards eastern half. All of these issues will be discussed at length in committee.