Like very Sunday, check out our weekly KafkaDigest press roundup of the best pieces and most insightful articles on Central Europe in international media (note: access to some of them might be restricted to subscribers only). neon signs poland

Grumpy Eastern Europeans aren’t as gloomy as they seem, Bloomberg

Bloomberg’s Opinion Europe columnist Leonid Bershidsky compares and dissects the results of several wide-ranging surveys to answer the question: Are Central and East Europeans happier now than they were thirty years ago?

How 1989 reshaped the modern world, BBC

“World events often move fast, but it is hard to match the pace and power of change in 1989”. With the fall of the Berlin Wall anniversary coming up, the BBC looks back at the wave of revolutions in Central and Eastern Europe of 1989, which opened a new chapter in European history.

Europe’s populist countries have a problem: their capitals, Foreign Policy

Since last month, all the capital cities of the four Visegrad countries (Czech Republic, Slovakia, Poland and Hungary) are governed by progressive and pro-liberal forces. Could this city-level opposition hold the key to defeating Central European populism? An insightful Foreign Policy piece.

The money farmers: How oligarchs and populists milk the EU for millions, The New York Times

A thorough NYT investigative piece looking at how a big chunk of the EU’s agriculture funds ends up in the pockets of oligarchs and populist rulers in Hungary, and Central and Eastern Europe as a whole.

Trump, Putin and Hungary’s Orban all share a disdain for Ukraine, CNN

Following Vladimir Putin’s visit to Budapest and Hungary’s NATO ‘veto’ on Ukraine, CNN’s Tim Lister and Nathan Hodge take a look at the emerging “triumvirate” and the three leaders’ negative views of Ukraine, if for differing reasons. All roads lead to Ukraine, it seems, in this current season of scandal.

The normalisation of far-right politics in Poland, Al Jazeera

In light of the latest November 11 March, Agnieszka Pikulicka-Wilczewska writes about the rise of the far right in Poland, which has entered Parliament for the first time and is trying to push an illiberal agenda.

Prague to honour little-known saviour of refugees fleeing Nazis, The Guardian

The Czech capital hopes to rescue Marie Schmolka from obscurity, an aid worker who helped countless Jews and other refugees flee the Nazis but whose story remains, sadly, not well-known among the population.

The glowing neon signs post-Communist Poland nearly forgot, CNN

From Communist Poland’s ‘Neonization’ campaign to its 21st-century revival… CNN takes a look at the incredible – and almost forgotten – history of neon signs in Poland.

How does Europe construct itself in the East (too)?, Institut Montaigne

The Paris-based Institut Montaigne asked analysts from four different think-tanks in the Visegrad countries about their respective countries’ perception of the EU and the state of the debate on European affairs. Some insightful takeaways worth looking at.