The Old Regime and the Opening Balance of Transition
At the beginning of 1989, Europe was a different place. The continent was dominated by the largest country on earth, which no longer exists: the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR). It embraced an economic system labelled by different names, ‘command economy’ being one of the more accurate. Yet seventy years earlier, the USSR had replaced another huge empire, Tsarist Russia, which had collapsed in 1917 near the end of the First World War. Later, towards the end of the Second World War, in 1944-5, a command-type economic system was imposed on several European countries — Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, the Eastern part of Germany, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland and Romania.1 Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia were annexed by the USSR and declared Soviet Republics. The remaining countries preserved varying degrees of autonomy, yet with the monopoly of political power guaranteed to local Communist parties.
KeywordsMarket Economy Economic Transition Purchasing Power Parity Former Soviet Union Military Expenditure
Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.