Final Word from Monday, May 7, 2012

Václav Klaus's latest theme for foreign audiences is that Europe needs a Velvet Revolution. He used the term explicitly in Fez, and in London last week he spoke of the need for the kind of deep systemic changes that the Czechs tried to accomplish more than two decades ago. On CNN last week, he gained a large international audience for the same kind of argument. Klaus is largely right in identifying Europe's main problems (debt, centralization, post-democracy), but how can a Velvet Revolution be the answer? That revolution freed the CR of Communism, but it also gave it Europe, and Europe's problems are now fully the CR's problems. At most, a new Velvet Revolution would merely take Europe back 20 years. The main thing the CR has going for it today is that it lags behind the EU in terms of its weaknesses. But it is catching up fast. So fast that, by Klaus's logic, it will soon need another Velvet Revolution itself.[Czech Republic Morocco England European Union]

Glossary of difficult words

to have something going for one - to have an advantage;

to lag - to fall behind in movement, progress or development; not to keep pace with another or others.


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