All the countries the euro crisis is ravaging can recall a time of dictatorial rule and revolutionary violence. Franco’s fascistic regime clung on until 1975, late in the day even by the lax standards of the 20th century. Portugal’s 1974 revolution against the Salazar dictatorship was a glorious moment of civil disobedience, but the carnage the revolution accelerated in the old Portuguese colonies of Mozambique, Angola and East Timor continued for decades. Assassination attempts and naval mutinies preceded Greece’s revolution against the military junta in 1974 and terrorist groups carried on operating in Greece into the 21st century, as they did in Spain.
Europe, that soft, safe continent of moderate politicians, pacific generals, meticulous bureaucrats, liberal judges and protected workers, is a recent invention. One should not expect it to contain its old demons after the collapse of its hopes.
The first example of the “new politics” emerging from the wreckage of the eurozone is the campaign for the Irish presidency by Martin McGuinness, the butcher’s boy who became head of the IRA‘s northern command.