February 23, 2010
Financial Times is worried about the next election’s fallout as the Fidesz is the likely winner of the next election. They need to focus on Europe, not just on Hungary.
In the first phase of the current crisis, weak Eastern European countries had to face the blame their developed Western fellow countries put on them for their policy financial policy. In the last week, it turned out that countries like Ireland, Portugal, Greece and Italy are in the same trouble.Although, the majority of them are on the periphery of the eurozone, this list is impressive. It shows that financial weakness and political lazyness are not characteristically Eastern European behavior.
There were plenty of time before to catch up with the financial crisis. Western countries had much more room to cut their public expenses, to stabilise their public expenditures.It was one and a half year ago that the signs of a big financial and economical criris taken shape. Their budget for 2010 is the second one that could have dealt with the financial onslaught.
They were just as hopeful as their Eastern counterparts in government. There is no different behavioural pattern for the newly joined countries. Democratic regimes tend to hope for the best and wait a bit too late as they are open to the public criticism. It is always easier to believe that somehow things turns for better than decide on the worst case scenario.
There were discreet grudging when things turned sour in Eastern Europe. Western Europe countries were angry that their Eastern brothers needed further aid. They talked about the need for prudence and sound management of the budget. It is testing to see whether they hold the same opinion if their Italian and Portugese fellows need the same help.
The crisis made it clear that neither the differences on the their development nor any other challenges they face could differentiate Western and East-Europen countries. They are equally vulnerable to the world market, their politicians are equally exposed to populism, lazyness, over-optimism and to fear from the voters’ punishment. Power has the same characteristics in all over Europe where democracy reins. It also shows that their is an end to the perception that East Europe can always for hope for smooth landing on the wide shoulder of their Western brothers.
It is a good experince. It also shows the end of the little brother-older brother relationship that was powerful in the past two decades.