Halfway through the first decade of the new millennium, the five-year track records of world stock markets show the leading indices in Europe and America still way down on their highs before the tech bubble burst.
As a possible base for eurozone companies eager to expand in the Balkans, Croatia is a favoured candidate, despite its small domestic market.
Austria's economy is in better shape than those of most of the states to its west and its companies already have a solid presence in the new EU states in central and eastern Europe.
Poland's once-beleaguered banks are posting profit growth for 2004 as high as 400% in some cases.
In a bold but reckless ploy, for much of last year Russia's president Vladimir Putin sought to curb the appreciation of the rouble against the dollar by intervening in the market.
Revision of Greece's public finance accounts has underlined the need for a big effort to reduce budget deficits.