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Adevărul - Romania | 17/04/2014

Poor taste is disfiguring Romania's cities

Large, kitschy Easter bunnies have been set up in several Romanian cities in recent weeks. The liberal-conservative daily Adevărul suspects this is the result of a combination of local officials distributing lucrative contracts among their friends and simple bad taste: "Yes, we have corruption and vested interests, but ignorance also plays a role. Those places where uneducated city officials with no sense of taste call the shots are subject to changes according to their whims. They lack the common sense to call in an expert; after all, they were elected by the people and therefore know everything. And if they see something they like in a Western city they automatically want to do the same at home. ... The problem is that they are allowed to get away with it. The citizens have no say - and if they do speak out, no one listens." (17/04/2014)

Irish Independent - Ireland | 07/04/2014

Sweets from Grandparents making kids fat

The Irish state authority for promoting healthy nutrition, Safefood, is starting an advertising campaign meant to encourage grandparents to give their grandchildren fewer sweets. That could do a lot to fight the growing problem of child obesity, the conservative daily Irish Independent writes: "Naturally, grandparents love to treat their grandchildren. They grew up in an era when treats were rare. It is one of life's greatest pleasures to buy sweets, ice cream or a soft drink for a child and watch them enjoy themselves. ... It is not over-stating things to say that the grandparents have a central role to play here. They can do much more to encourage their grandchildren to be more active and have a healthier diet. And they can continue to treat their grandchildren - just less often and more sensibly." (07/04/2014)

Club Z - Bulgaria | 03/04/2014

In Bulgaria the mafia has a state

The Japanese mafia organisation Yakuza has built up an Internet presence. But the Japanese lag far behind the Bulgarians, the news portal Club Z jokes: "Our mafia owns not only websites, but also newspapers and even entire television stations. We could name most of them, but who cares? It's not as if they were hiding. Those in power have known them for a long time, and even delight in making use of their services. If we wanted to be cynical, we could name two websites where most of the documents and files of the Bulgarian mafia over the last 25 years can be freely accessed: www.parliament.bg and www.government.bg. But because we're not cynical, let's not. We don't want to make any insinuations. No, no. But since it's always being alleged that the state has a mafia and that it's only in Bulgaria that the mafia has a state, we suggest the following: Bulgaria should register the domain www.mafia.bg as soon as possible and use it for its own purposes. We've had a look: it's still free." (03/04/2014)

Novinar - Bulgaria | 27/03/2014

Nerds can revive Bulgaria's villages

Bulgarian IT specialists are currently looking for like-minded souls on Facebook to team up with and acquire abandoned villages where they can live and work surrounded by nature. The daily Novinar is thrilled: "When you consider that in Bulgaria fewer than two million people live in villages nowadays, that over 170 villages stand empty and thousands of them have as few as 10 to 50 residents, this initiative would be a godsend for both sides. The move to the idyllic but empty villages would not only create additional jobs outside the IT sector, it would also do the programmers a world of good. Instead of sitting in front of the computer all day, they can enjoy the fresh air and eat healthy organic food. ... With a bit of luck that would at least be a chance for a few Bulgarian villages to flourish once more and be more than just a sad memory." (27/03/2014)

Newsweek Polska - Poland | 28/03/2014

Material prosperity gets Poles on the move

Around 10,000 participants are expected to take part in the Warsaw Half Marathon on Sunday - a record figure for the event, which is currently the eighth-largest half marathon in Europe. It is also a sign of how Poland is catching up with the old EU, the Newsweek Polska magazine comments delightedly: "When the race first took place in 2006, it was just a small provincial event with a 1,000 participants. In terms of sport and fitness Poland was still rather backwards at the time. People didn't actually point their fingers at the runners, but physical activity was regarded as a quirky fad of the arrogant urbanites. Now the Poles love running. ... A sign that we have attained a generalised material stability. And we are starting to take care that we move more. The role model is no longer the fat rich guy in his leather armchair but a person brimming with physical and mental energy and full of joie de vivre. In other words: a European." (28/03/2014)


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