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Left-wing commentator praises Polish anti-government demonstrators

May 10th, 2016

A veteran Népszabadság columnist identifies what he calls a spate of ‘anti-EU rhetoric’ across the region, targeting Brussels, and though he admits that this is on the rise, he suggests that it will not prove strong enough to stall the integration project.

In Népszabadság, Gábor Miklós takes up the defence of the European Union against increasingly critical voices coming from Eastern Europe. He believes that the EU has been successful and attributes the past decades of peace to its existence. He condemns the governments of the Visegrád countries for likening the EU to former empires including the Habsburg Monarchy and even the Soviet Union and thinks that such statements express scepticism about Europe’s future. Despite all worries and disputes, he argues, the EU has proven resilient enough to weather all crises so far. Miklós is therefore optimistic that the ‘love of freedom and fear of war of European citizens’ will be strong enough to keep the EU together, despite the upsurge in anti-EU rhetoric, not just in the East but in the West as well. He welcomes the recent demonstration of Polish opposition parties who suffered a resounding defeat at the latest elections last autumn, and interprets their protest as an indication that the European project is important for all the inhabitants of the countries of the former Soviet bloc.

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