Klear wrote:Don Calvus wrote:Now the distinction is pointless and is almost never used in the present. There's no such thing as Western Europe. There is such a thing as "ex-Eastern Europe" though, which is, as was said, the former Communist block.
Of course it is used, at least here. Western Europe are the countries to the west of us, and are thought to be well developed nations. Eastern Europe are those to the East, not-so-well developed.
I admit that this kind of separation is probably based on Czech Republic being pretty much in the middle from all sides.
Well I think this proves that, like with date formats -- who in fact depend of the natural language, as has been proved -- the use of some geopolitical expressions is not the same everywhere; which definitely makes sense, since some are relative, as you're pointing out.
Czech Republic being definitely more central than France, which has a long Atlantic border. Technically, all continental Europe except Portugal* is east to France. That's probably why "Western Europe" doesn't mean much after the Cold War for us. We use "Occident" for the whole Western World/Culture.
*Spain is too, generally, but its westernmost point is a little eastern to France's (while also, anecdotically, sharing the same name, Finistère / Finisterre = "End of Land"). Portugal has the most westernmost point in Europe, I think -- Cabo San Vicente. But I'm talking without a map, and may actually be talking pure bullshit here!