chapter
Eastern Europe and the "Energy Shock" of 1990
Pages 30

A new Eastern Europe is emerging from the political upheavals that swept the region in 1989. Naturally, the scope, pace, and significance of change varies among East European states given their diverse cultures, political traditions, and levels of socioeconomic modernization. Yet all regimes in the region-from the crypto-Communist regime in Romania to its democratically elected counterpart in Czechoslovakiaconfront many similar challenges that threaten their political and economic stability. How to cope with the "energy shock" of 1990 and beyond wherein the USSR is substantially reducing the volume of, and increasing the price for, its energy exports to the region numbers among the preeminent challenges.1 The Soviet action "threatens us with collapse," Prime Minister Marian Calfa of Czechoslovakia contends, expressing a widely shared (albeit perhaps hyperbolic) sentiment in Eastern Europe.2