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Strong central bankers depart

Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic offer three different puzzles for western European banks. While the fall of the iron curtain presented new opportunities in new markets, the transition from communist regimes to free market economies is still proving a painful struggle.

Zdenek Tuma

They call it Jaruzelski's revenge, which might sound flippant, though precious few people in Poland are laughing. The martial law imposed by general Wojciech Jaruzelski in 1981 and 1982 by all accounts left most Poles who weren't plotting the overthrow of the Communist government with precious little to do. As one Warsaw-based analyst puts it: "The shops were closed, the bars were closed and the movie theatres were closed. And with nothing much to watch on television, the only thing many people could do was make babies."

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