True cost of dirty money

The West should stop laundering cash for Eastern Europe’s corrupt elites, writes Paula Erizanu.

The World Today Published 10 February 2020 Updated 2 November 2020 3 minute READ

Paula Erizanu

Culture Editor, The Calvert Journal

When the Berlin Wall fell, millions of people protesting against totalitarianism and Russian imperialism across Central and Eastern Europe hoped the authoritarian regimes would collapse, and they could live freer, more prosperous ‘normal’ lives, under democratic governments, like the West.

Fast forward 30 years, and only a small minority of these people have become very much richer and therefore freer. In Russia, the situation is most extreme, with the income of the top 1 per cent of the population rising from 3.5 per cent to 27 per cent of the national income. Meanwhile, many others have been forced to migrate to the West to earn a decent living.

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