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Despite receiving billions of euros in subsidies, the mavericks and populists of eastern Europe are falling out of love with the EU—very quickly

By Manneken Pis   December 2006

East European discontents

Eighteen months after eight ex-communist countries joined the EU, eastern Europe’s march towards stable liberal democracy is slower than even Eurosceptics expected. Tens of thousands have taken to the streets of Hungary, nationalists are in power in Poland and Slovakia, and the Czech Republic has got used to having no government at all. What’s more, though billions of euros in subsidies are destined for the former Soviet satellites, the EU is getting a lot of flak. The Czech president, Vaclav Klaus, is a noted Eurosceptic, as is Poland’s far-right populist deputy prime minister, Andrzej Lepper. Even…

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