The Unz Review: An Alternative Media Selection
A Collection of Interesting, Important, and Controversial Perspectives Largely Excluded from the American Mainstream Media
 BlogviewJohn Derbyshire Archive
Visegrad Four vs. Merkel—Europe In the Balance
🔊 Listen RSS
Email This Page to Someone

 Remember My Information


Bookmark Toggle AllToCAdd to LibraryRemove from Library • BShow CommentNext New CommentNext New ReplyRead More
ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
These buttons register your public Agreement, Disagreement, Thanks, LOL, or Troll with the selected comment. They are ONLY available to recent, frequent commenters who have saved their Name+Email using the 'Remember My Information' checkbox, and may also ONLY be used three times during any eight hour period.
Ignore Commenter Follow Commenter
Search Text Case Sensitive  Exact Words  Include Comments
List of Bookmarks
Hungarian PM Viktor Orban, Polish PM Beata Szydlo, Czech PM Bohuslav Sobotka and Slovakian PM Robert Fico are all united against mass Muslim invasion. Credit:
Hungarian PM Viktor Orban, Polish PM Beata Szydlo, Czech PM Bohuslav Sobotka and Slovakian PM Robert Fico are all united against mass Muslim invasion. Credit:

Across the pond in Europe, the National Question is getting really prominent. Anti-national universalism in the last century threw up two great supranational projects: the Soviet Union and the European Union. The Soviet Union collapsed 25 years ago. I don’t think it’s too much to hope that the EU is now collapsing as we watch.

Key players here, not very surprisingly, are the East European nations who experienced the U.S.S.R. at first hand. Among those nations are four who call themselves the Visegrad Group: Poland, Hungary, Slovakia, and the Czech Republic.

It so happens that the Visegrad group celebrated its 25th birthday last Monday, February 15. The Group was formed in 1991 to, quote from their mission statement, “work together in a number of fields of common interest within the all-European integration.”

Back then, at the time the group was founded, the main aim was to get admitted to the EU. They subsequently all did get admitted, in 2004.

The Visegrad Group—sometimes written as the Visegrad Four, or just V4—is something of a tadpole demographically: Poland accounts for sixty percent of its population. The other three countries, the tail of the tadpole, are just forty percent.

That is significant politically as well as just demographically. Last November’s election in Poland waswon by the Law and Justice Party, a National Conservative party skeptical of the EU and strongly opposed to mass Third World immigration.

(I am sorry to report that the Law and Justice Party is commonly referred to by its Polish initials, PiS. Listen, I don’t make the news, I just report it).

The tail of the Visegrad tadpole is similarly minded. Working our way through them by demography, the Czech Republic, with sixteen percent of the Group’s population, was the subject of a Radio Derb smooch back on January 1st this year. You may recall our long quote from the Christmas message to his people given by the Czech President, Miloš Zeman.

It began: “I am deeply convinced that what we are facing is an organized invasion.” It ended with these ringing words:

To close my Christmas message, I would like to tell you two clear sentences:

  • This country is ours. And<
  • This country is not for, and cannot be for, all.

Hungary, with fifteen percent of the Group’s population, has a President and Prime Minister from Fidesz, another national conservative party. Quotes from that Prime Minister, speaking on Wednesday this week

Christian and national values will be as important in the future as they were in the past … Uncontrolled migration will cause more harm than good … No one can be forced to live with the people whom they don’t want to live with.

Hungary premier blasts migrant flow as threat to Europe, By Vladimir Isachenkov, AP, February 20, 2016

In Slovakia, the smallest member of the Visegrad Four, the ruling political party rejoices in the name Smer. This is not a National Conservative party. It’s center-Left in general orientation.

Still nationalist, though. Quote from Smer Prime Minister Robert Fico last week: “The only way to eliminate risks like Paris and Germany is to prevent the creation of a compact Muslim community in Slovakia.”[ We protect Slovakia’, By Benjamin Cunningham, Politico, February 20, 2016]

Further quote from him,

We will never make a voluntary decision that would lead to the formation of a unified Muslim community in Slovakia … Multi-culturalism is a fiction.

Slovakia vows to refuse entry to Muslim migrants, DW January 10, 2016

I love these Visegrad guys! Memo to President Trump: Is there a way the U.S.A. could apply to join the Visegrad Group?

Worth looking into.

Slovakia, by the way, has an election coming up March 5th. Smer is polling well, but may not get a full majority and could end up in coalition with a center-center party named Siet. A Smer-Siet coalition … I just wanted to say that.

Bottom line: the Visegrad Group is pretty solidly nationalist, even the Leftist parties. They don’t want Muslims coming into their countries in quantity.

But there are developments going on that could change the future of Europe.

You need some idea of the geography here. If you slice Europe with a north-south line, roughly at the fifteenth meridian, east of that is Eastern Europe, right? The Visegrad group is the northern zone of Eastern Europe. Going southward from it, you go through all the bits of the old Yugoslavia—Serbia, Bosnia, and so on—until finally you get to Macedonia, then over the border into Greece. To your east, meanwhile, as you took that southward trek, were Romania and then Bulgaria. Bulgaria also borders on Greece.


The talk going on now, with the Visegrad Four doing most of the talking, is that if Greece and Turkey can’t get the flow of illegal immigrants under control, then Macedonia and Bulgaria should close their borders to seal off Greece.

This is in addition to the border fences already up. Hungary, Slovakia, and Austria are already defending their borders against the Muslim flash mobs.

When I say “the talk going on now,” that’s not figurative: the relevant parties were actually talking last week, at a summit meeting in Prague. The Visegrad leaders were all there, and they’d invited representatives from Macedonia and Bulgaria to join them. (They invited the Prime Minister of Greece, too, but he didn’t show. I don’t know what’s up with that).

Here is a quote from the statement they issued:

With the very foundations of the European Union at stake, the Prime Ministers of the Visegrad Group countries call on all European Union Member States to take common, rapid and decisive action: the key strategic objective now is to preserve Schengen, which can only be achieved by regaining control over the European Union’s external borders. Pursuing these goals will also significantly contribute to easing tensions and support stabilisation of the situation in the Balkans region. These efforts thus represent the way forward in order to preserve the European Union and its benefits for citizens. [Joint Statement of V4 Prime Ministers on Migration, February 15, 2016]

This is causing trouble over there. Also this week, scheduled for Thursday and Friday, is an EU Summit in Brussels to discuss the illegal alien problem. Angela Merkel’s there, of course, still pushing for the other EU countries to spread the illegals out among themselves, still insisting that Greece stay in the open-borders Schengen zone. Which obviously positions her for a head-on collision with the Visegrad Four.


Meanwhile, someone in Europe’s had the idea to send NATO ships to patrol the Aegean Sea, where the illegals come across from Turkey to Greece. [NATO warships ordered to patrol the Aegean Sea ‘without delay’ after Turkey, Germany and Greece ask for help in stopping illegal migration, Daily Mail, February 11, 2016] These NATO vessels could shut down the people-smuggling rackets by just turning the boats round, back to Turkey.

That’s how the Australians solved their similar problem.

Brilliant! It only took the Europeans a year to think of this.

Meanwhile, winter is beginning to turn into spring. Better weather, more boats, more people: a million, two million, five million … Who knows?

Europe’s in the balance. The next few months will be very interesting.

John Derbyshire [email him] writes an incredible amount on all sorts of subjectsfor all kinds of outlets. (This no longer includes National Review, whose editors had some kind of tantrum and fired him. ) He is the author of We Are Doomed: Reclaiming Conservative Pessimism and several other books. He’s had two books published by FROM THE DISSIDENT RIGHT (also available in Kindle) and From the Dissident Right II: Essays 2013. His writings are archived

(Republished from VDare by permission of author or representative)
• Category: Foreign Policy • Tags: European Right, Immigration 
Hide 15 CommentsLeave a Comment
Commenters to FollowEndorsed Only
Trim Comments?
  1. Hepp says:

    These are all promising developments. Nothing is more depressing than brainwashed conservatives who say we need to “stand up to Putin,” while they implicitly consider the leaders of France and Germany to be members of good standing in Western civilization.

    One of Trump’s many accomplishments is giving voice to anti-Merkel sentiment. Just the other day Breitbart had a headline where Trump was talking about how the people would overthrow her if she didn’t cut it out.

    Recently, there’s been a lot of propaganda, even among the center right about the drift into “totalitarianism” I’m Hungary and Poland. Yet as far as I can tell, countries like Germany, France, Sweden, and Britain are locking people up for their opinions. Have the governments of Hungary or Poland put anyone in jail? I’m guessing not, or else we’d get 24/7 coverage of it, in the same way the degenerates of Pussy Riot were made into heroes of freedom.

    • Replies: @Harold
  2. ‘… all united against mass Muslim invasion…’


    The Muslims aren’t invading their countries-they don’t want to go to those countries-they want to go to Germany, Scandinavia and the UK.

    Those 4 countries could put the biggest, strongest, most ferocious wall around their countries and it wouldn’t make a bit of difference. Take a look at the map in the article for yourself.

    (Anyhow its nice to see Czechs and Slovaks getting along again)

    • Replies: @Davidski
  3. Harold says:

    Have the governments of Hungary or Poland put anyone in jail?

    Only Richard Spencer. 🙂

  4. Davidski says:

    Actually there is a lot of pressure for all EU countries to accept an automatic refugee allocation system. If this gets off the ground, the asylum applicants will just get sent wherever based on some as yet undefined criteria.

    This would be a disaster for East Central Europe, because it would mean the gradual creation of migrant MENA communities in the region. And the larger these communities, the more willing new arrivals would be to move to East Central Europe, because currently one of the main reasons they don’t want to go there is because they really stick out, unlike in Western Europe.

    • Replies: @Regnum Nostrum
  5. Walter Oleg says: • Website

    ” No one can be forced to live with the people whom they don’t want to live with.”

    This is really the bottom line and the most important human rights issue of our time. To live a dignified human life, people MUST have the right to choice of community. No one has the right to force integrate people into a community and then demonize them as “racist nazis who want to kill six million Jews” if they object. In fact, this is pure evil. It doesn’t help the host peoples or the outside peoples in the long run. It’s a recipe for conflict, which is the reason why the globalist elites push for it in the first place.

    • Replies: @Harold
  6. The winds they are a blowin’

    I presume the Derb will have his thoughts on this soon? How much weight does Johnson’s endorsement carry in terms of British politics? Does the Brexit camp now have the odds in its favor?

  7. Hey Derb,

    Your cancelled trip make news at the WaPo.

    You’re actually reasonably defended in the story, which quotes quite a bit of your blog about the incident.

  8. Blobby5 says:

    Doesn’t the Civil Rights Act of ’64 tell us we do not have the right to choose who we live or associate with?

  9. The Visegrad group building fences in non EU country FYRoM in order to isolate Greece from the rest of Europe is schismatic and serves only to (carve-up) divide Europe. It must be noted though, the mentality and the beginnings of that idea were Slovene in origin. South-Slavic ideas being promoted by West-Slavs and Hungarians, with intention to fragment Europe, ultimately scares Old-Europe and Germany in particular. In the eyes of Western peoples – Old-Europeans and Germanic Nations view Visegrad group ideas with scepticism suspicion and distrust.

    If (Slovene) South-Slavic ideas were enacted upon, put into practice by West-Slavs and Hungarians – Greece would simply counter them with bigger fence of it’s own, built to protect the Hellenic Republic from the North. The ensuing humanitarian disaster predicted would have been entirely of FYRoM’s making.

    The refugee crisis does not resolve on the Visegrad 4 building fences in FYRoM. The refugee crisis resolves when Europe acts in unison as one unified entity…placing resources and manpower where they are needed the most, in the Aegean-Sea, opposite the Anatolian coast. This is where the root cause and source of the problem lay, in Turkey! The one common act of solidarity that would send clear message to Turkish people-smugglers and human-traffickers alike, would see the waters between Greece and Turkey flooded with European naval craft, sent there in huge numbers, to act as maritime naval (fence) force, guarding policing protecting Europe. The visual impact of that on news screens around the world, showing Europe acting decisively, as one unified body determined to stop the ensuing humanitarian disaster, would send crystal-clear message to Turkish people-smugglers and human-traffickers alike that Europe is serious in tackling the crisis.

    • Replies: @szopen
    , @Hepp
  10. @Davidski

    The main reason for the migrants not wanting to come to V4 countries is economical. They have no intention to live in economic misery. Even citizens of V4 are trying their best to get to the West be it US, Canada, Great Britain, Germany or any other country where the standards of living are much higher.

    • Replies: @Davidski
  11. szopen says:
    @Nick the Greek

    I can see the logic in your post, but the question is about the will to do it. The navy must not just be present at the sea, it must have guts to get the refugees, sink the vessels after rescuing the passangers, have procedures to deal with boats who refuse to obey the orders. Then it have to do something with refugees – to deport them back, but where? To Turkey? What if Turkey will simply refuse accepting them back, effectively saying “once on sea, they are your problem”.

    Therefore, while in theory navy on aegean sea is much better idea, in practice it won’t solve anything. The fences, on the other hand, work. Mostly because they do not have the problems I have enumerated above.

    EDIT: one more thing: the smugglers, or people who navigate the boats, should be of course jailed, refused asylum and then deported.

  12. Harold says:
    @Walter Oleg

    Yes, and since population growth and decline is exponential it can easily happen that one group will come to numerically dominate the other, even if it begins from a much smaller base. This is a recipe for conflict. I have read, though I am unsure of its veracity, that pogroms in Eastern Europe tended to follow periods of rapid expansion of the Jewish population.

  13. Davidski says:
    @Regnum Nostrum

    There’s free movement within the EU, and yet the V4 countries are far from empty. So it seems you’re exaggerating.

    In fact, I can tell you most people from the V4 don’t have a very positive outlook about the future of Germany.

  14. Hepp says:
    @Nick the Greek

    M. The refugee crisis resolves when Europe acts in unison as one unified entity…placing resources and manpower where they are needed the most, in the Aegean-Sea, opposite the Anatolian coast.

    Impossible. The major EU countries are entirely anti-nationalist, they’re not going to protect their borders from poor and suffering people, especially not with military force. It’s like expecting Saudi Arabia to become the global champion of women’s rights.

    Eastern Europe can’t save all of Europe, but it can save itself.

  15. Beckow says:

    It is Visegrad against Merkel, but a key point is that in V4 countries the anti-migration policy has 90% or higher support. Merkel has at best 40-50% support in Germany and a lot less in Austria, France, Netherlands, etc… That means that V4 will win, they are united while the EU liberals are confused and on a defensive.

    The living standards in V4 are not that low. They are on average 30-50% lower than in Germany or Austria, but comparable to most regions of Italy, Spain, Portugal, Ireland, northern England, etc… Among EU’s richest regions – the ones with 110% or higher GNP/capita – are both Prague and Bratislava regions. The people who move to UK to work are in general from a few poor regions (most of Poland, eastern Slovakia), or they are young adventurers wanting to learn English and take advantage of the generous welfare benefits (yes, that is a major driver no matter how much most of them deny it in public).

    Smer in Slovakia is an old-fashioned left party in favor of balanced labor markets, strong social protections and taking care of the working people. They have no interest in “identity” politics or multi-culturalism. Those policies are pushed by the Western funded ‘liberal’ parties whose voters are the usual confused big-city dreamers and people literally on the payrolls of Western NGOs or working for Western owned media (that would be 95% of the media), or hoping to do that.

    Even if Merkel had prevailed the numbers of migrants distributed would be a small fraction of the 1.5 million last year and the coming avalanche of 3-4 million (incl. “family reunification”). That’s not the fight, it is largely irrelevant quantitatively. The migrant allocation across EU is used as a distraction by Merkel and her supporters because they don’t know what to say any more to their voters. So is the “Turkish negotiation”. Both these silly arguments are distractions and attempts to buy time. Well, time is not on their side – the next few million migrants are going to be even more fun.

    Within a decade, millions of Western Europeans will be escaping to Visegrad countries. The future is not in London or Cologne, it is in Prague and Budapest.

Current Commenter

Leave a Reply - Comments on articles more than two weeks old will be judged much more strictly on quality and tone

 Remember My InformationWhy?
 Email Replies to my Comment
Submitted comments become the property of The Unz Review and may be republished elsewhere at the sole discretion of the latter
Subscribe to This Comment Thread via RSS Subscribe to All John Derbyshire Comments via RSS