I do apologize if the fate of this small and far-off country is beginning to bore readers. I promise to get on to some other EU member soon. However, if things go seriously belly-up in another one of the member states (and this time we shall see no resignations) that will have an effect on the EU, which, in turn, will have an effect on Britain. So, we had better be prepared.
At the time of the negotiations with the former Communist states of Eastern Europe, one of the things I wrote against it was that their political structures are quite fragile and economic problems that will almost inevitably follow their accession to the EU may well unbalance them. Is this what is happening in Hungary? The omens, as I said before, are not good.
Walter Russell Mead, not a man who can be accused of leftward leanings has an even stronger piece on his blog in which he wonders whether Europe is not approaching the situation of the thirties. Well, actually, no, as the situation today cannot be what it was in the thirties but the constant ratcheting of EU powers at the expense of any accountable national government together with severe economic problems is producing the result many of us predicted but one that was not supposed to happen under the benign gaze of Brussels: the growth of a more extreme and unpleasant form of nationalism.
Both Radio Free Europe and the BBC report arrests of opposition MPs who were protesting against the passage of constitutionally important laws in haste on the last day before Christmas. (A favourite ploy in many countries, one may add.)