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Ten years in Europe

Ten years ago, the leaders of western Europe set the wrong priorities. Instead of confronting the challenge of the end of communism, they embarked on monetary union. There is thus a direct link between Emu and ethnic cleansing. Half the energy spent on the euro might have averted disaster in the Balkans.

Ten years ago this month, Poland voted in its first semi-free election since the communist takeover at the end of the second world war. I will never forget the quiet satisfaction of my friends as they crossed off the names of so many communist candidates, one by one, from those absurdly long ballot sheets. The result was a triumph for the opposition movement, Solidarity. Within three months, the country had a non-communist prime minister. Within six months, East Germany and Czechoslovakia had followed where Poland and Hungary led. The Berlin wall was no more. The cold war was over. Soon…

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