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Since when is Slovenia a former soviet state?

It's not a former Soviet state, being a part of former Yugoslavia, which was a member of the non-aligned movement.

It was, however, a stong-man communist dictatorship.

I'd also be curious the effect of EU funding - I know Estonia received hundreds of millions if not billions over the years on development and I'd guess it's much the same for Latvia/Lithuania as well

Latvia received EU subsidies of 2.76% of GDP in 2017 [0]. It contributed 0.69% of GDP, for a net EU contribution to Latvia of 2.07% of GDP.

According to government posters pasted all around Latvia, EU support constituted about 12.8% of government budget(!), or 9.6% net after accounting for Latvia's contributions to the EU budget.

[0] https://europa.eu/european-union/about-eu/countries/member-c...

Look at Germany. It’s a better experiment. Former democratic part got billions from westerners and didn’t evolve far. They got basically new infrastructure build from western money, but people left former communistic paradise. Salary gap is still huge. That’s why Tesla picked location there and not in the western part of the country.

The US has similar variation in GDP per capita in its states, despite having had essentially the same economic system at least back to the civil war over 150 years ago.

A much more nuanced story can be told about Germany, see eg https://www.economist.com/europe/2019/10/31/germans-still-do... .

When it comes to the Tesla factory, it will be right outside Berlin https://www.dw.com/en/tesla-factory-outside-berlin-to-cost-4... .

Berlin is in the east of Germany. I live in Berlin, and have considered cycling to Poland and back as a day trip.

One of my German coworkers remarks often that wages for any given job in former-DDR-areas are much lower than the same jobs in pre-reunification-Bundesrepublik-Deutschland-areas.

Berlin was both. Hence why they had to build the wall.

West Berlin was a political enclave in DDR. ~150 km from the inner German border [1]. Just outside Berlin is pretty much ex-DDR territory. At the same time Berlin does have quite a strong foreign community and high migration, lately negative for Germans and positive for other ethnic groups [2]. It is the second largest city (by population) in Europe after London with much lower living costs [3]. Also Daimler and BMW have strong presence in Berlin. Those factors may have influenced the Tesla's decision a lot.

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Inner_German_border

[2] https://www.statistik-berlin-brandenburg.de/produkte/kleines...

[3] https://teleport.org/compare/berlin-and-london/

Yes, but the Tesla factory is “just outside” Berlin, so I didn’t feel that detail was important in this case.

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