reserve lieutenant and a vice consul with experience in Trieste, Shkodër (Scutari, Albania), and Pljevlja (Montenegro) behind him and had been serving in Galați, Romania, for three years. One cold winter morning, Szathmáry Király was approached in his office by Robert Matsek, a reserve corporal (Unterjäger, the lowest rank of Unteroffizier, or non-commissioned officer [NCO]) who was traveling abroad as the mechanical assistant of a panorama owner and needed to report his presence in the area. When Szathmáry Király had trouble finding the relevant stamp in Matsek
converted straight over, pricing items at 100 euros, effectively doubling the price of everything. I told him I had noticed this too and talked about how much further my money had gone 1999 when one could still use lire. He said that his wife is always complaining to him to go back, but he convinces her they should stay because his job is good, and he probably would not find one as good back home.
Later I spoke with a young man in a white t-shirt and jeans named Andrei, from Romania, who had been working in Italy for the past 4 years as a general construction worker. He
about the abuse of citizens’ rights by the states on the other side of the Iron Curtain widely accessible. When airing their discontent with the Austrian state, citizens chose neither the state socialism of the German Democratic Republic nor the ›goulash communism‹ of Hungary as points of comparison but rather Ceaușescu’s Romania and Hoxha’s Albania. The authorities’ response was invariably the same: administrative penalties for defamatory writing. The attitudes of the administrative court or the supreme court on these comparisons diverged, however, depending on the