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In 2008, Eastern Europe was in the throes of a major financial crisis. Burdened with public and private debt, Hungary, Latvia and Romania had to be bailed out by the IMF; they faced severe austerity measures and high unemployment. Fast forward three years and Eastern Europe seems in much better shape, while the West faces the most serious financial challenge since the establishment of the European Union.
Worries about Western Europe have spilled into countries in Central and Eastern Europe and the region's fate is tightly linked to that of its main exporting market, Wike Groenenberg, head of CEEMEA strategy at Citi, told CNBC on Wednesday.
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While periphery euro zone countries are drowning in a sea of debt and investor reluctance, Eastern Europe – which two years ago sent shockwaves through markets – is now shining away from the limelight.