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Europe: on the wrong side of history?

Scared of instability and waves of immigration, European governments have wrongly privileged their own national interests over democracy in the Middle East

By Stephen Castle   April 2011

Since the very start, Europe has been on the wrong side of the Arab uprisings. Just last year, Franco Frattini, Italy’s foreign minister, dismissed critics of Colonel Gaddafi as “people who know nothing at all, either about foreign policy or Italy’s interests.” France’s foreign minister, Michèle Alliot Marie, has since been sacked over her winter vacation in the Tunisian sun, her links to the country’s deposed leadership and her offer to help it with French expertise in crowd control. Silvio Berlusconi praised Egypt’s Hosni Mubarak only days before he was ousted from power—and the crisis has reminded us, courtesy of…

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