An outpost of the Empire (from the T.D.E.C.)
Speaking of British I should be polite and introduce myself. Not that I am British – I’m Belgian, but living in Hungary for obscure job-related reasons. "British" referred to politeness only. For those of you who read this blog regularly I will clarify that yes, I am Slag’s Hot Belgian Girlfriend. The idea was for me to be an occasional European correspondent, and as such I had a notion of writing a post called "An outpost of the Empire."
Hungary, on the whole, is not especially relevant to humanity; nor does the rest of the world seem all that important to Hungary. Last year, however, it was one of the ten new member states of the EU. As far as I can tell from living here, this change is something of a promotion.
The Empire in question, then, is the EU. The idea of it as an empire is not entirely facetious. As the European heads of state try to pull through the European Constitution, the accusations that they are creating an Orwellian super state get louder. If you look at it in the right light, you will see that it is only a matter of time before an emperor stands up and Tony Blair turns into Darth Vader.
Did I just start talking about Star Wars again?
My point was that Hungary seems quite happy to be a part of this totalitarian nightmare (according to some). It was the second country to ratify the Constitution, and did so very comfortably. Though it was voted in parliament, polls showed that popular support for the draft was high, about 63%. There are of course obvious economic reasons for Hungary’s enthusiastic membership of EU; but my ill-founded feeling is that there is more to it than that. This country has been part of a number of empires – Ottoman, Austro-Hungarian, Communist. Almost all of its recent history was spent on the edge of somewhere or other.
There is still a lot of anger about Communism in Hungary – and you can’t blame the Hungarians. Why then are the Hungarians so eager to join another Union? Simple; it gives the country a higher status in the eyes of the world. Suddenly Hungary has all the conveniences of western Europe without the costs. I am exaggerating, as a look at any supermarket or my work permit will tell you, but essentially that is how it looks. Companies like mine move people like me to Budapest from all over Europe. At this rate Hungary will not be an outpost for very much longer. Perhaps it will now finally have a voice in this super state; that seems to be what people hope for. Maybe that’s worth going over to the dark side for.
Can I go back to being hot in my high heels and small spandex outfits now? Yes? Good.