New at TOL

From: MINELRES moderator <>
Date: Thu, 20 Apr 2000 09:25:22 +0200 (EET)
Message-Id: <>
Subject: New at TOL

From: MINELRES moderator <>

Original sender: Transitions Online <>

New at TOL

Transitions Online (TOL) ( is the leading Internet
magazine covering Central and Eastern Europe, the Balkans, and the
former Soviet Union. If you aren't already a member, fill out our
registration form at <> to receive
your free two-month trial membership. If you'd like to become a TOL
member right away, go to <>. And if
you're a citizen of a post-communist country, go to
<> to sign up for a FREE annual
We're proud to introduce the first TOL Annual Surveys for 1999:
exclusive overviews of individual countries in the region written for
TOL by top local and Western analysts and edited by regional
specialist Professor Peter Rutland of Wesleyan University. These
valuable resources follow the fine tradition established by the
OMRI/East-West Institute Annual Surveys. Both sets of reports, old and
new, can be found in our expanded Country Files
( along with links and maps for the 27
countries in the post-communist world.
Posted this week (with more to come soon):
Between March and June, during the NATO bombing campaign in Kosovo,
Albania had to accommodate 444,000 refugees from Kosovo-more than a
tenth of Albania's total population. By opening its arms to NATO,
Albania scored brownie points with the international community and
improved ties with its reform-oriented neighbors. Such preoccupations,
however, prevented the government from seriously addressing other
crucial issues. Fabian Schmidt discusses how the war only momentarily
defused the enmity felt by the country's two main political parties.
President Leonid Kuchma's reelection didn't change much in Ukraine.
The economy staggered and spluttered along - as it has done since
independence - and corruption scandals and contract killings merely
rippled public life. Widespread fuel shortages did little to lighten
the public mood. Notably, Kuchma did attempt to increase his executive
power and end the parliamentary impasse that has long stymied reform.
Oleg Varfolomeyev reviews the year in which Kuchma sowed the seeds for
his controversial referendum.

In Their Own Words: A Tasteless April Fool's Joke
On 1 April, the Romanian version of Playboy magazine decided to laugh
it up with a how-to on wife beating. The article advised the
uninitiated to hit their wives "hard and with a proletarian hatred -
and most importantly, without fear! If you are afraid, you'd better
quit. Take up knitting!" The article caused outrage among women's
groups and some local media but did not provoke much wider discussion
- lending credence to the claim that domestic violence remains a
neglected issue in Romania.

OPINION: The Communication Rescue
by Mercedes Sprouse and Carolyn Sawyer
Governments across the region are still grappling uncomfortably with
freedom of information legislation. Earlier this month, the Lithuanian
parliament approved a law that would have provided for the
establishment of an inspectorate, charged with ensuring that all
information made public in the media is truthful. After public outcry,
parliament agreed to revise the bill, but the controversy made clear
that too many officials continue to hide behind stringent legislation
and incomprehensible procedures, seemingly designed to keep the press
and public at arm's length. The authors argue that open policies do
worlds to improve governments' relations with their people.
Fisticuffs on International Romani Day ... Massive flooding in Hungary
and Romania ... Prague prepares for Seattle: Round Two ... Yugoslavs
puff with the best of 'em ... Hungary tests the water with Austria ...
Disregarding netiquette in Montenegro ... Croatia serious about
war-crimes cooperation ... Kuchma's reaffirmation ... Flipping
streetcars in Chisinau ... Lukashenka's military plans with Russia ...
Information inspectorate for Lithuania ... More skullduggery in the
St. Petersburg mayoral race ... Doubting Eduard in Georgia ... FBI
moves into Central Asia
TOL is seeking interns to spend the summer in Prague. Positions are
available in the editorial,
marketing, and web departments. Interested applicants should send a
and cover letter to Luke Allnutt at
A Czech nonprofit dedicated to promoting independent journalism, TOL
is based in Prague and uses a network of local correspondents to
provide unique, cross-regional analysis.
We encourage you to visit our site and become part of a dynamic new
media project dedicated to building independent journalism in Central
and Eastern Europe, the Balkans, and the former Soviet Union. And be
sure to also visit our partner sites:
- Central Europe Review (, the weekly
Internet journal of Central and East European politics, society, and
- The Network of Independent Journalists of Central and Eastern Europe
(NIJ), a weekly service run by the Croatian-based STINA press agency.
To subscribe to STINA's NIJ weekly service, giving you timely news of
events in the region, send an e-mail to:

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