Fig. 18 Rembrandt van Rijn, Moneychanger, 1627, oil on panel, 32 x 42 cm. Gemäldegalerie, Berlin, inv. no. 828D (Bredius 420) (artwork in the public domain)

Just a few weeks ago IME presented the main challenges to social protection faced by Bulgaria in the post-pandemic period. One of the key takeaways was that Bulgarian social policy is unfocused, ineffective and that it flat out fails to address poverty and inequality. While such issues are mainly solved through economic recovery, new jobs and wage growth, the role of social policy should be focused as much as possible on those most in need.

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The rapid fall of the Afghan government and the hasty evacuation of refugees from Kabul’s airport provided ample opportunity for disinformation actors and media to spread streams of anti-American, anti-NATO and anti-refugee narratives. Accordingly, disinformation proliferated in the Slovak information space regarding the recent events in Afghanistan.

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In March 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared a pandemic caused by the COVID-19 virus. In the same month, Bosnia and Herzegovina began implementing restrictive measures aimed at protecting the local population from the new virus. As in many other countries of the world, these measures were on the verge of not respecting human rights and caused numerous controversies.

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Imagine the owner of a candy store, whose window is broken by boys playing football. People run around the scene of the accident, pitty the owner and blame and rebuke the naughty. Nevertheless, there are some people among the crowd who say that a broken window also has its bright economic side. A broken window means work for the window maker. For the money he earns he can now buy bread, for example. That’s how the baker has a job.

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June 2021 will go down in the history of improving the business environment in Slovakia. It has joined the countries that have introduced a system to reduce the costs of doing business, which stem from bureaucracy and other regulations. This will help Slovakia to recover from the crisis, increase business productivity, increase competitiveness and, ultimately, improve people’s standard of living in general.

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In the country of the Vistula River fiction is more and more often surpassing reality. In fact, it becomes reality before Poles’ very eyes. Moreover, they begin to arrange themselves in it, stunned by events that would have been unimaginable for the average person just a few weeks before. However, Poles, who are accustomed to living in the fumes of absurdity, quickly tame the next shock and come to terms with it.

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More different or similar? This was the question posed by the authors of the report “Minding the Gap: Deepening Polarization in Poland and Hungary” carried out by 21 Research Center and the Project: Poland. The study included two focus group interviews with residents of villages and small towns where Fidesz and PiS were the dominant political parties in the elections.