Privatisation and Industrial Restructuring
- The Privatisation Phase of Industrial Restructuring
Privatisation in the West took place within a detailed legislative framework and a free-market culture. Professor Michael Kaser confirms that Central and Eastern Europe's transition is quite the opposite. The direct costs are measurable - paying for restructuring, recapitalising banks, and absorbing old debts. The indirect costs are harder to quantify, but they reflect the chaotic environment in which the reformers have to operate. Their aim, according to one economist, is 'a normal Western market economy'. The problem is that they must create one in a world where literally everything is for sale.
Professor Kaser is working at the Institute of German Studies, University of Birmingham, UK.
- Economic Reform, Privatisation And Industrial Restructuring In Albania
Albania is a small country with big problems, says Niko Glozheni. It emerged from fifty years of isolation under the harshest of Europe's communist dictatorships with its economy in ruin and its people on the brink of starvation. Despite this, the reform programme is working - inflation though still high, is falling, and price controls have all but vanished. The currency is strong, and privatisation is steaming ahead, with the full backing of all political parties. Economic reform will be difficult and painful - but, judging from the progress so far, the worst may be over.
Dr. Glozheni is Executive Director, Albanian National Agency for Privatisation, Tirana.
- Russia's Military-Industrial Complex:
Privatisation and the Emerging New Owners
A free-market culture is slowly emerging in Russia's military-industrial complex (MIC). To date the government has been careful to keep overall control: three-quarters of the MIC are still in state hands despite the privatisation programme. But a new managerial attitude is emerging, reports Dr. Leonid Kosals. And this new breed of managers comes not a minute too soon, as this industry is in desperate need of a firm hand to help its companies develop and innovate. Today's big question is whether the governments will actually allow the MIC companies to follow this path to restructuring and conversion.
Dr. Kosals is a Senior Researcher at the Institute for Population Studies, Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow.
- Privatising the Slovak Economy:
Legislative Framework and Development
There was a lack of theoretical preparedness for the huge privatisation effort in post-socialist countries and Slovakia is no exception. In the beginning these processes were in many case implemented "campaign-style" as in the old days, says Anna Zatkalíková, from the Slovak Republic's National Council. Privatisation is seen as the key to helping the economy, and to cementing political reform in place. There is a spirited debate about how to privatise. The voucher method was popular at first, but the people, and successive governments, are ambivalent about it now. This approach spreads share ownership, but it also hinders the growth of strategic owners who can invest in their enterprise and bring about expansion. Other methods, such as management buy-outs, or selling shares to employees, are under consideration. The debate continues...
Mrs. Zatkalíková is working at the Department of Information and Analysis of the National Council of the Slovak Republic, Bratislava.
- Successes and Failures: Privatisation in the Transition Economies
The solution to Eastern Europe's transition problems lies in implementing the Western economic policy 'trinity' of liberalisation, stabilisation, and privatisation. The first two were relatively easy because governments simply had to stop doing things - controlling prices, and spending money. The third was more difficult, yet it had become an important criterion for measuring the success of economic reform. The key to its success, says Peter Rutland, is strong leadership, good administration, and a clear timetable. They have been a qualified success, he thinks. But the benefits could take years to come through.
Dr. Rutland is Assistant Director (Research) of the Open Media Research Institute, Prague.