Daily Archives: November 27, 2011

Gideon Rachman

As the European Union’s crisis deepens, the search is on for scapegoats. A new candidate for this role was recently brought to my attention – the Hungarians. This is not because they have done everything wrong. It’s just that when it comes to international politics, Hungary is congenitally unlucky.

A Hungarian acquaintance argues that every organisation that Hungary has joined for the last 150 years has collapsed shortly afterwards. The Hapsburgs were one of the Europe’s most successful dynasties. But then in 1867, the Austro-Hungarian empire was formed, and by 1918 it had disappeared. Hungary chose the losing side in both the first and second world wars. After 1945, it became a member of the Warsaw Pact and Comecon. Given this long record of failure, the EU should have been on its guard when it welcomed Hungary as a member in 2004.