Coming Of Age
Central and Eastern Europe's post-1989 generation takes center stage as the E.U. gets ready for enlargement in May .
The Homecoming
To young new Europeans joining the E.U. is more than just being part of an economic club, says Josef Joffe
Keeping Up With The West
How will the new E.U. members fare in the face of tougher competition?
Outsourcing
Chasing cheap labor to the East

End of the Affair?
How attractive is E.U. expansion? [10/21/02]
Europe — Then & Now How the Continent has changed over the past 50 years [Aug 18-25, 2003]
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FRESH FACES: Czech opera singers Píchová, far left, and Polásková

  


Children Of The Revolution
For those who lived under communist rule in Central and Eastern Europe, joining the E.U. next month marks the end of a bitter struggle. But for those who've come of age since 1989, it's the start of a fantastic journey. A look at the generation gap inside the real "New Europe"
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Posted Sunday, April 4, 2004; 11.52BST
Peter Pazitny reads J.R.R. Tolkien, listens to massive attack, plays EyeToy games on his PlayStation, and likes to hike, cycle and go barhopping on weekends. In other words, he's 28. He also works 12 hours a day as an adviser to the Slovak Ministry of Health, where he's helping to roll out a major reform package with a scope and ambition that would shame his peers in Western Europe. The reforms aim to balance the budget by introducing patient contributions for care and open up the entire sector to competition. "It's a huge challenge. I'm proud to be part of this," says Pazitny, who eschews an office in favor of two mobile phones and a laptop computer. "We believe in the private sector, we believe that people should take care of themselves, and that the state should intervene only when absolutely necessary."

That's a radical creed in Central and Eastern Europe, where in most countries the reformist zeal of the mid-1990s has given way to complacency and partisan bickering. Politics is still an older persons' game in most of the region, so in Slovakia they call Pazitny and his bright young cohorts the kinder managers, using the German word for child. Apart from Pazitny, there is Miroslav Beblavy, 27, State Secretary of the Ministry of Labor, Social Affairs and Family; Vladimír Tvaroska, 31, State Secretary of the Ministry of Finance; and Richard Rybnícek, 34, general director of Slovak Television. A senior Cabinet member, Justice Minister Daniel Lipsic, is all of 30.

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"The Majority Are Against It"
The President of Greek Cyprus, on the U.N.’s reunification plan
Getting to the Truce
Spain's new government hopes that the horror of the Madrid bombs may help put an end to ETA
You Say Yes, We Say No
Greek and Turkish Cypriots are bitterly divided in the run-up to a vote that could be their last chance to unite the island


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FROM THE APRIL 12, 2004 ISSUE OF TIME MAGAZINE; POSTED SUNDAY, APRIL 4, 2004.

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