Be aware of Europe: where there is a chicken there is a hen


Hungary: Forseeable, though still sad – a word of caution

Yesterday’s Guardian published an editorial under the Heading:

Hungary: Playing Chicken

Kind of mind-boggling, reading this at the end of 2011.

I remember when I had been for the first time visiting professor in Hungary several years ago – at Elte univesity. Part of the stay had been a public presentation. Before we started, I talked to some colleagues – also about outlining what I was going to say: very critical remarks on the EU, the danger of engaging in the EU-Lisbon strategy, striving to be the most competitive region…, which also meant for the individual countries striving for being the most competitive nation… – I had been asked to keep a little bit back with my critique, talking more about the way to success, the glorious Celtic tiger.

Something similar happened when I gave few years later a presentation to PhD-students of Economics. During the talk I had been confronted with some skeptical remarks, that had been not least referring to Peadar Kirby who apparently praised the success and not least the outstanding positive role of the “partnership-agreements”. And surely, they had been successful: in domesticating and pacifying even the slightest germ of a proactive movement of the workers. But all this had been part of a complex pattern of developing the Irish economy, the “politico-economic culture” behind it and the actual economic development, foreseeable leading to what we see now: the death of a clown, a country of which the government and even more so the people are degraded to something like string-puppets of EU/IMF/FDI and the …, well, call it greed if you want the small elite of the country itself.

Sure, two things remain to be discussed further when we look at the developments in a global perspective: the actual role of national governments and the fundamental changes of the economy, beyond what is simplified by interpreting it as neo-liberalism and austerity policies.

For the Celtic tiger: Poor beast – dead, as foreseen. For the Hungarian perspective Not nice to see that I had been right at the time, now looking at another doomed man …


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