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Europe on thin ice.

The end of World War 111, especially in Eastern Europe, saw history’s most extreme and extensive ethnic cleansing. Millions were forcibly removed from nations where many had lived for generations and lived well. In the bitter reckoning that followed some countries – Poland, Rumania and Hungary for example – became virtually monoracial. Even though later joining the E.U. these nations have remained centres of extremism. Hungary today has little semblance to a democracy as its demagogue leader Viktor Orban uses the cover of the Corona virus to consolidate his power. The media is already threatened, the independence of the courts constrained. Chinese infreastructure funding is classified as secret. As Hungary moves towards a police state so Doctors, experts, individual researchers become reluctant to speak out. Orban has reduced the Health care budget, dismantled the state run teams of epidemeliologists¬† and hamstrung the nation’s ability to react to the current pandemic.

Hungary is but one component of the emerging crisis in Europe. Each nation is challenging the ice on which they are skating. Their economies were already threatened, now each nation is going it alone in their desperation. The pandemic has become a merciless light shining on the failure of the continent’s policies, revealing how thin the ice if recovery had in reality become. The Banks will try to cobble together some sort of life line but expect to see cracks appearing all across the ice.

It is hard to see how Europe can survive and prosper in its present configuration. Brexit has not helped any Рit has indeed become something of a totem for doubting the future of the experiment in international collaboration. Meantime the US administration has turned away from its role as the superpower policeman to the world.  Navarro has won the debate in the White House so we have moved steadfastly to the xenophobic stance of America First and tacitly endorsed the demagogy of Orban and his henchmen.

Have a good day, James