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Join the EU? Are You Crazy?

Ten years ago Hungary joined the European Union. After a miserable 40 years under the  Soviet boot, EU membership was seen by Left and Right alike in Hungary as a watershed event demonstrating that the past had truly passed, and the country had retaken its historic position in the center of European cultural, economic, and political life.

After manipulation in Hungary's domestic politics, most infamously the "salami tactics" of the 1947-1948 period where Soviet agents saw to it that each non-communist party was sliced off into oblivion one by one until the Hungarian Communist Party remained the last party standing -- as well as the 1956 revolt against the Soviet occupiers -- Hungarians upon joining the European Union felt that they had finally emerged from the post-communist period as a sovereign nation.

One by one, the former communist countries of central Europe fell for the temptations of EU membership.
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Ukraine: Bullied and Blackmailed?

It has been called the most important news you may have missed. After a long consideration Ukraine has turned against a European Union offer of associated membership, refusing to sign an agreement that would have brought the former Soviet Republic into the EU political orbit.

As one might expect, the Western mainstream media has portrayed Ukraine's rejection of an "Eastern partnership" as a turn away from civilized democracy and toward the "autocracy" of Russia's Putin. In fact, one reads the Russian president's name in such articles more often than that of his Ukrainian counterpart. It was only Russian bullying and blackmail, they write, that has frightened Ukraine away from the EU's kind and generous offer.
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Ukraine Rejects The Brussels Club, Opts For Trade Over Empty Promises

On Thursday the Ukrainian parliament reject a final set of laws designed to pave the way for  Ukraine to join the EU's "Eastern Partnership" program as an associate EU member. The surprise move cast a shadow on the Eastern Partnership signing ceremony scheduled to take place in Vilnius, Lithuania next week.

With this move, Ukraine has signaled an end to its interest in further formal association with the European Union and a preference for participation in the Customs Union of Belarus, Kazakhstan and Russia.

Perhaps sensing that a relationship with the EU would also involve endless meddling in internal Ukrainian affairs, the last straw for the Ukrainian parliament was a package of Brussels-demanded legislation which would have released from custody former prime minister Yulia "Gas Princess" Timoshenko, serving time on corruption charges.
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