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Jasmin Mujanović @JasminMuj
, 5 tweets, 2 min read Read on Twitter
Most revealing aspect of the Gruevski escape story is how it marks Hungary’s most overt power move in the Balkans to date. Orban has been poking around Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia & Serbia for a while. But this seems designed to poke Brussels in the eye.…
Hungary is also the latest foreign illiberal/authoritarian state to make a play to push out or at least diminish already waning EU and US influence in the region. Between Orban, Putin, Erdogan, Xi, and the Gulf monarchs, the Balkans are a geopolitical fire sale these days.
And despite the self-evident absurdity of the claim that the “EU is the only game in town”, too many in Brussels & Washington still persist in the belief that this new “authoritarian international”, as I call it my book, is only a marginal, “spoiler” phenomenon. Foolish.
None of them offer as comprehensive a package as the Euro-Atlantic model but that’s not what the entrenched, criminal elite in the Balkans want anyway. Patronage, patrimonialism, vassalage — that’s the model they know and prefer, and what the authoritarian internationals offer.
Besides, & again as I’ve argued in the book & elsewhere, the Balkan elite are convinced after Ukraine, Brexit & Trump that the West as a political project is over. It’s the return of the strongmen & it’s time to shift allegiances. Orban is just the latest to offer them terms. /x
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