Most prosperous Eastern European country in terms of individual standard of living?

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ak56
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Report Thread starter 11 years ago
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Eastern Europe is not a place I've seen much of, but I recall on a visit to the Czech Republic, albeit Prague, the country seemed really quite prosperous and I couldn't see any significant standard of living difference between Czechs and Western Europeans, ie British, French, Dutch, etc.

All the cars seemed as new as what you'd find in Western Europe, there were very few old cars, or Soviet era old bangers - probably no more than what you'd see in the UK tbh. And while it's obviously difficult to tell as an outsider from a short-visit, the population as a whole seemed pretty free-spending and it certainly didn't come across as a place where money was a huge issue.

While I've never been to Poland, I'm told that Poland while it's getting more prosperous definately still has a way to go.

So to people who have had more to do with Eastern Europe, is the Czech Republic significantly wealthier than it's neighbours? And what would you say could be considered the most prosperous Eastern European country.

Also, I know technically speaking, Poland and the Czech Republic are central europe rather than Eastern, but for the purpose of things like this, they're definately Eastern Europe.
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Lefty Leo
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Perhaps this will help you:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of...%29_per_capita
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SunOfABeach
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Slovakia. I think this is the only advanced, developed economy of Eastern Europe.

Oh and life in Prague does not reflect life as a whole in the the country. The wealth is very concentrated there but if you go outside of Prague, you will definitely see the difference between say the Netherlands and the Czech Republic.

EDIT: I'm stupid enough that I included the Czech Republic in the countries of Eastern Europe. It's central - not Eastern.
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rowzee
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You're right about Czech Republic being Central Europe rather than Eastern Europe and it is definitely better off than any EE country (as you can see in the figure provided above). I come from one of the Baltic States and have visited the other two and Poland on several occasions and would say that out of these Estonia makes itself the leader of the group.
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frankfranklinin
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Having visited many of the former Yugoslavia countries over the summer, and ignoring countries like Czech Republic, Poland as Central Europe, then the answer has to be Slovenia.
It was almost ridiculous how pleasant it all was. It's ******* expensive though as it has the Euro. It's size and proximity to Italy, Czech Republic, etc may have something to do with it's relative prosperity, however.
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username220598
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(Original post by ak56)
Eastern Europe is not a place I've seen much of, but I recall on a visit to the Czech Republic, albeit Prague, the country seemed really quite prosperous and I couldn't see any significant standard of living difference between Czechs and Western Europeans, ie British, French, Dutch, etc.

All the cars seemed as new as what you'd find in Western Europe, there were very few old cars, or Soviet era old bangers - probably no more than what you'd see in the UK tbh. And while it's obviously difficult to tell as an outsider from a short-visit, the population as a whole seemed pretty free-spending and it certainly didn't come across as a place where money was a huge issue.

While I've never been to Poland, I'm told that Poland while it's getting more prosperous definately still has a way to go.

So to people who have had more to do with Eastern Europe, is the Czech Republic significantly wealthier than it's neighbours? And what would you say could be considered the most prosperous Eastern European country.

Also, I know technically speaking, Poland and the Czech Republic are central europe rather than Eastern, but for the purpose of things like this, they're definately Eastern Europe.
I've been living in Prague for 2 months and the locals would be devastated to be considered 'Eastern Europeans'. Prague is further west than Vienna ffs.
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rowzee
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(Original post by SunOfABeach)
EDIT: I'm stupid enough that I included the Czech Republic in the countries of Eastern Europe. It's central - not Eastern.
You can't really say that CR is in Central Europe and Slovakia is Eastern Europe, they're pretty much in the same ballpark, have to choose and put them both in either division together.
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SunOfABeach
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(Original post by rowzee)
You can't really say that CR is in Central Europe and Slovakia is Eastern Europe, they're pretty much in the same ballpark, have to choose and put them both in either division together.
Just cos it borders with CZ means nothing. You have to draw the borders somewhere and Slovakia is where OFFICIALS draw the borders of Central-Eastern Europe. I mean, Greece borders with almost all Eastern European countries but it is regarded as Southern Europe not Eastern Europe. And not to mention that Slovakia also borders with Ukraine.

And Slovenia is not Eastern Europe people...
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ak56
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(Original post by Colbert)
I've been living in Prague for 2 months and the locals would be devastated to be considered 'Eastern Europeans'. Prague is further west than Vienna ffs.
Yeah, only devastated out of snobbishness. Eastern Europe is thought of by the West as being poor, and as Czechs feel they're a bit more wealthy and sophisticated than their Eastern European neighbours, they demand to be called Central Europeans.

But at the end of the day, the Czechs are Slavs, have a Slavic heritage and speak a Slavic language - the Slavs are the primary race and culture of Eastern Europe. To suggest the Czechs are more Western European than the Austrians is absurd.

While this would be very controversial, I would even go as far to say that as a culture and people, Czechs have more common ground with the Russians than they do with Germans, French or British.
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rowzee
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(Original post by SunOfABeach)
Just cos it borders with CZ means nothing. You have to draw the borders somewhere and Slovakia is where OFFICIALS draw the borders of Central-Eastern Europe. I mean, Greece borders with almost all Eastern European countries but it is regarded as Southern Europe not Eastern Europe. And not to mention that Slovakia also borders with Ukraine.

And Slovenia is not Eastern Europe people...
Well, geographically speaking you're right, but I think that historical reasons should play a bigger role here. I'm reluctant to divide CR and Slovakia into two different classes since it used to be the same country and today each is on par with the other economically (as opposed to Poland, Ukraine, Romania, Hungary (if you consider Hungary EE)), even the two languages are almost identical, you'd have a hard time telling where one country ends and the other begins.
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SunOfABeach
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(Original post by rowzee)
Well, geographically speaking you're right, but I think that historical reasons should play a bigger role here. I'm reluctant to divide CR and Slovakia into two different classes since it used to be the same country and today each is on par with the other economically (as opposed to Poland, Ukraine, Romania, Hungary (if you consider Hungary EE)), even the two languages are almost identical, you'd have a hard time telling where one country ends and the other begins.
Right, I see your point but still, Eastern Europe is no longer a cultural "thing" (it used to be during the Cold War). It's purely geographical as there's no Soviet Union anymore to divide West-East in another manner other than geography
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username220598
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(Original post by ak56)
Yeah, only devastated out of snobbishness. Eastern Europe is thought of by the West as being poor, and as Czechs feel they're a bit more wealthy and sophisticated than their Eastern European neighbours, they demand to be called Central Europeans.

But at the end of the day, the Czechs are Slavs, have a Slavic heritage and speak a Slavic language - the Slavs are the primary race and culture of Eastern Europe. To suggest the Czechs are more Western European than the Austrians is absurd.

While this would be very controversial, I would even go as far to say that as a culture and people, Czechs have more common ground with the Russians than they do with Germans, French or British.
Oh dear me. Your original post questioned the most economically developed country in Eastern Europe, and you even admitted as much that the Czech Republic is central rather than eastern and should be considered as such?
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ak56
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(Original post by SunOfABeach)
Right, I see your point but still, Eastern Europe is no longer a cultural "thing" (it used to be during the Cold War). It's purely geographical as there's no Soviet Union anymore to divide West-East in another manner other than geography
However, from a cultural and racial point of view, 80-90% of what was considered Eastern Europe was Slavic, the only notable exceptions being the Baltics, Romania and Hungary. And even then Russia attempted to "Slavic-ize" those nations.

So really, from that point of view, the old Eastern Bloc was very much a Slavic place, and some would say the deviding line was that between Germanic influenced culture and Slavic influenced culture.

And while the Cold War/Eastern Bloc stuff is over, the culture differences and influences still very much exist. So for that reason I still think it is resonably accurate to still refer to certain countries as Eastern and Western.
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ak56
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(Original post by Colbert)
Oh dear me. Your original post questioned the most economically developed country in Eastern Europe, and you even admitted as much that the Czech Republic is central rather than eastern and should be considered as such?
I meant from a geographical point of view, culturally the Czech Republic is Slavic, and as a consequence Eastern European. End of story.
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ak56
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Also, as an ideological concept, I don't think Central Europe really exists. "Back in the day", pretty much every European country had it's allegences one way or the other, with pretty much every Slavic nation clearly leaning towards Russia.
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username220598
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(Original post by ak56)
I meant from a geographical point of view, culturally the Czech Republic is Slavic, and as a consequence Eastern European. End of story.
I can see you're struggling so I will leave you to it. Check (or Czech :giggle:) some history books and then come back.
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ak56
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Then again, I was forgetting that for a good few years, the Czechs were under the rule of the Austrian and Austro-Hungarian Empires. Now I'm not so sure...
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Paxdax
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(Original post by Colbert)
I can see you're struggling so I will leave you to it. Check (or Czech :giggle:) some history books and then come back.
Australia is a Western country, even though it's not actually in the Western part of the World. The Latin American countries ARE in the Western part, but are not considered Western countries.

The terms can be more political and cultural than strictly geographical. 'Eastern European countries' refer often to the countries formerly behind the Iron Curtain.
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honza.rek
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I strongly suggest you to study European history. Obviously you have no idea what are you talking about. The Czech Republic is located in Central Europe, Czechs are a western Slavic nation. We have been part of Holy Roman Empire, moreover Prague was for some time the centrum of it, Austrian Empire and still Czech lands were the most industrialized among the other nations within. If you do not know what our history is, I kindly ask you to shut your mouth and do not post any more comments.
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AngeryPenguin
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(Original post by honza.rek)
I strongly suggest you to study European history. Obviously you have no idea what are you talking about. The Czech Republic is located in Central Europe, Czechs are a western Slavic nation. We have been part of Holy Roman Empire, moreover Prague was for some time the centrum of it, Austrian Empire and still Czech lands were the most industrialized among the other nations within. If you do not know what our history is, I kindly ask you to shut your mouth and do not post any more comments.
You didn't need to bump up a 9 year old thread just to say that.

I had forgotten Czechs were western Slavic - Czechs have always seemed to me to be rather similar to Germans in a lot of ways.
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