Europe at the end of 1991

by Marten van Heuven


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After a cataclysmic year, Western Europeans encourage the turn toward Western values by the people of the former Soviet Union and welcome the tentative steps toward unity of the European Community (EC). Yet, as 1992 begins, they appear uncertain, apprehensive, and worried. They fear the possibility of more turbulence accompanying the breakup of the Soviet Union. They are apprehensive about the changed European balance resulting from German reunification. They worry about preventing further slaughter in the former Yugoslavia and improving the prospect of a better life for the people of Eastern Europe. And they face difficult economic adjustments as the EC uneasily charts its way through a becalmed world economy. The author bases this assessment on contacts made throughout 1991 with a representative range of European officials, politicians, businessmen, and observers.

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