Huge levels of state ownership in the Polish economy negatively affects its productivity and growth prospects. Although the employment share of state-owned enterprises (SOEs) in total employment of the Polish economy might seem limited (about 5%), their share among the largest, most important companies is much more significant.
The fourth edition of Freedom Games was held on October 19-21, 2017, in Łódź (Poland). The unique interdisciplinary forum, the aim of which is to offer a creative space for individuals from the sectors of culture, business and public affairs, among others, to discuss the key challenges the Western societies must face in the 21st century.
The number of Fidesz voters has only fluctuated, but not changed significantly since the last elections in 2014. Apart from the numbers, it is important to mention that most of the opinion polls show that their supporters are continuously getting more homogenous.
There are liberal democratic parties such as moderately conservative Civic Platform (formerly led by Donald Tusk) or liberal Nowoczesna. They can base their voter’s value proposition on individualism yet their resources are far from Kaczynski’s party. There are other players, too.
The 90% of the 2.2 million people that took part in Catalonia’s referendum voted for the independence of the region. Only 7.8% voted against it. But the most relevant data is that only the 42.2% of the 5.3 million people entitled to vote went to the polls.
On the whole, CEE countries – including Poland – still positively stand out in this respect among its European peers. Yet, this might soon come to an end as Poland’s governing party (LAw and Justice) is planning to introduce significant restrictions on Sunday trade.
Numerous needed reforms and laws guaranteeing and protecting equal rights and freedoms have not been passed in Latvia due to lack of political will or poor public administration (or perhaps both). And in the era of the rise of populism, these advances seem more and more distant and unrealistic.
The Lithuanian Social Democrats have withdrawn from the governing coalition led by the Peasant-Greens, making it a minority governmnent. Of the three Social Democrats Ministers, only Foreign Minister Linas Linkevičius will leave his party to remain in the government.
We need to have in mind that democracy is not a given; it is susceptible and fragile. Many societies of the European countries (and the US too) confirm the thesis that democracy is in crisis and the elite are desperately looking for the cure. How to stop populism and the threat of authoritarianism in Europe (and elsewhere)?
Spain is facing nowadays crucial issues for the national integrity. Approximately 40,000 people have taken to the streets in Barcelona after Guardia Civil has arrested 14 people in the offices of the Catalan government, some of whom are senior officials, like Josep Maria Jové, secretary general of economic affairs.