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Benes and all that

There are occasions when you can’t help wondering whether the EU knows what it is taking on, as it prepares to admit ten new members, mainly from central Europe. Take the current row over the Benes decrees-the Czechoslovak laws which led to the expulsion of 2.5m Germans and thousands of ethnic Hungarians from the Sudetenland after the war. Just as the accession of the Czech Republic and Slovakia to the EU seems within grasp, the Austrian chancellor Wolfgang Schussel, the (former?) Hungarian prime minister Viktor Orban, and the chief of staff of Edmund Stoiber, the right’s…

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