A Political and Economic Dictionary of Eastern Europe

By Alan J. Day; Roger East et al. | Go to book overview

G

Group of Eight.

Gabčíkovo-Nagymaros Dam

A controversial hydroelectric dam on the River Danube in southern Slovakia, at the point where the Danube forms the border with Hungary. It was originally conceived in 1977 as a joint project between Hungary and Czechoslovakia. By 1989 Hungary had pulled out, on economic, ecological and domestic grounds, but Czechoslovakia (and later Slovakia) chose to complete its part of the project, which had become a symbol of national pride. The main loser in Slovakia was the Magyar (Hungarian) community, which had historically lived on land which was to be partially inundated by dammed water.


Gagauzia

Gagauz Yeri

An autonomous region in the southernmost tip of Moldova. The regional capital is Comrat. The Baskan, a directly-elected President, answers to the 35-seat Gagauz Popular Assembly (Halk Toplusu). Gagauzia is dominated by the ethnic Gagauzi, a Christian Turkic-language speaking people of either Turkish or Bulgarian ethnicity (see Turkic peoples and Bulgarian Turks) who are popularly thought to have settled in the area during the period of Turkish Ottoman rule in the late 18thearly 19th century. Almost three-quarters of Gagauzi consider Russian to be their second language, which tied them closely to the dominant ethnic Russian regime established under Soviet rule.

Largely ignored by the Soviet authorities, Gagauzia did not emerge as a defined area until the rise of Romanian-centred nationalism in Moldova in the late 1980s. A law designating Moldovan as the country's main official language in 1989 prompted calls for autonomy led by the Gagauz Halki (Gagauz People), the region's most prominent political group. An independent Gagauz Soviet Socialist Republic was declared in 1991 in response to the declaration of Moldovan independence from the Soviet Union. The Gaugauzi avoided direct involvement in the

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