Thursday, May 26, 2005

Port of Odesa Opens One-Stop Customs Service to Curb Corruption "ДЕНЬ"

Port of Odesa Opens One-Stop Customs Service to Curb Corruption "ДЕНЬ"

By Olena Astraknovych, The Day Weekly Digest

The use of "One Stop Shop" to improve and speed up the Odessa Port. One of the first, practical moves by the government to improve Ukraine's regulatory environment. I liked this quote.

“Containers are the cargo of the future. Cargo flows are like water: they will bypass any obstacles and go anywhere but not through Ukraine. This would be a crime against our children. We have to do whatever it takes for cargo flows to pass through Ukraine, in particular the Port of Odesa,”

Monday, May 23, 2005

Notes on Eurovision

With all of the enthusiasm that Kyiv greeted the Eurovision Song Contest 2005, it is great to report that it seem a great success. There were many people who thought that it was going to be a fiasco, highlighting Ukraine’s inability to hold a major an event of its size. There is an illusion Ukraine is incapable of managing events. Many expats have a very limited view of the capabilities of the nation. While there was a great deal of last minute rushing around with Eurovision, this type of last minute activity is common with any large scale human endeavor, especially in the entertainment industry.   There were hiccups in the hotel industry with Eurovision that was to be expected due to Kyiv lack of tourist infrastructure.


Some notes on Eurovision contest itself. The contest and its voting are a great gauge of the unstated cultural divisions within Europe. The voting always seems unfair and the best performers never win, at least in the view of this English native speaker and North American. If I ran the contest I would make a few minor adjustments:


There is a trend towards the homogenization of popular music in Europe. Eurovision should not be a vehicle for it. I would give any country that performs in its native language a 10 to 20% point’s bonus. English songs dominate in the contest and badly sung English does not promote good music. Giving a bonus to native singers would promote diversity.


There seems to be a disconnect between popular voting and Eurovision. A small country, Andorra for example, has the same voting weight as larger countries, say Germany. Every country used televoting this year, thus allowing the direct totaling of results. It does not seem to be a major jump from the current country points system to one based on actual votes. To prevent the larger countries from dominating the contest voting, some merger of the current system of equal country voting and a more popular system might be created.


In the end, Eurovision is seen as goofy event in Western Europe and a serious competition in the East. This diversity of viewpoint is a large part of the charm of the event. It the end, it is a fun event with average music and lots of drums.

Sunday, May 15, 2005

A song for Europe in the wake of revolution

The Observer | Travel | A song for Europe in the wake of revolution

Kiev travel by Andrei Kurkov

Friday, May 13, 2005

Freeing the Books From Bureaucrats

Freeing the Books From Bureaucrats

While there is nothing as boring as Accounting Standards, it is a very important area of reform. This article is about Russian regulations but it also reflects the situation in Ukraine.

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Victory Day at 60

Kyiv Post. Victory Day at 60

From the Kyiv Post. This might be the best piece of writing I have encountered on Victory Day, 2005. It shows an understanding of the complexity of the holiday and its meaning to the veterans.

Kyiv Post. From Odessa, Texas to Kyiv, Ukraine...

Kyiv Post. From Odessa, Texas to Kyiv, Ukraine...
By Viktoria Braychenko

Tony Smith, for a small group of people in Kyiv, part of the history of the city in 1995. It is nice to see him back.

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

From Our Own Correspondent | Odessa looks back on wayward past

BBC NEWS | Programmes | From Our Own Correspondent | Odessa looks back on wayward past

Misha Glenny of the BBC writes about the "charm" of Odessa.

Saturday, May 07, 2005

Expat: life in Ukraine

Telegraph | Expat
From by Pactricia Joy

Basic information on living in Ukraine

Friday, May 06, 2005

Lviv firm developing bond market for medium-sizec firms.

FirsTnews / Articles
By Alla Vetrovcova

SME funding through the use of bonds. Banks should be doing this type of lending but bonds will work to.

Thursday, May 05, 2005

If pirating grows, it may not be the end of music world - If pirating grows, it may not be the end of music world

From USA Today, by Kevin Maney

While this covers China, the role of pirating of music is the same as in Ukraine. Musicians use CDs as promotion devices and don't expect to earn income from them. Perhaps the entire RIAA crusade is mistaken from the point of view of the musicians.