People of Central Europe are still more afraid of the post-communist vested interests and local legislation/judicial powers then of the EU long-term strategy and tactical moves, I am afraid.The so called right wing parties are full of the former nomenklatura offsprings or fellow travellers and their criticism of EU policies are not taken very seriously from the point of a common man, I suspect. The conservative/liberal "home voices" that insisted on the principles of transparency and accountability were silenced shortly after 1989 and now we have to pay the very high price of "stability" in domestic a foreign policies.
Alena Hromádková, Prague
The UK should reunite with the USA.
In 2008 my husband & I visited Berlin, Amsterdam, Florence and Rome where our daughter was spending a college semester abroad. One thing stood out and surprised us, when we had conversations with the regular inhabitants of all these cities, they all hated the euro. From the cab driver in Amersterdam to the family in Berlin and all the persons we had indepth conversations with again, to our surprise, told us their standards of living were worse after the euro was adopted. And they all blamed the bankers for forcing the euro on their countries. This was 4 years ago, before the current crisis.
I was in London last month on business and had a few free afternoons, which I spent in Magistrate's Court and in the Crown Court, hoping to find an interesting case or two to occupy my afternoons (bad habit). Much to my surprise, I didn't come upon a SINGLE native English party in any of those courtrooms. Not one (although there almost certainly were some). Instead, it was this African immigrant having stolen a car. That Turkish immigrant having cheated that Russian immigrant in a business deal. That Slovenian construction worker getting in a knife fight with a co-worker. And finally, a Zambian purse-snatcher. Imagine the cost to the British system to deal with all of this! Not to mention the tears in the social fabric.
I think that the UK should renegotiate now, if they can get away with it. The alternative is progressive absorption into a socialist superstate.
But there is a risk. The UK is Britain, Britain is England, and England is the City. The UK without the City is toast. The City needs unfettered access to the Continent (e.g., the place where a eurozone company can sell euro-denominated securities). Renegotiating membership would be just the excuse that the French and Germans would seize upon to attempt once again to move the European financial center to Europe.