Gray Is Beautiful: Thoughts on Democracy in Central Europe

Gray Is Beautiful: Thoughts on Democracy in Central Europe

People from Central Europe like to tell jokes. For years, jokes offered them asylum. In the world of jokes, they not only felt free and sovereign, despite captivity and Soviet domination, they also laughed. So: two men, with the experience that comes with age were playing tennis. The tennis ball ended up in the bushes. Looking for the ball, one of the players saw a frog. The frog spoke to him with a human voice: “I’m a beautiful princess, turned into a frog by a mischievous wizard. If you kiss me, I will become a princess once again. I will marry you, you will be a prince, and we will live happily ever after.” The player put the frog into his pocket, found the ball, and continued the game. After a while, the frog again spoke to him, this time from his pocket: “Sir, did you forget about me? I am a beautiful princess, turned into a frog. If you kiss me, I will become a princess again. We will get married and live happily ever after!” And then she heard his answer: “Dear lady frog, I will be completely honest with you. I have reached the age at which I would rather have a talking frog than a new wife.”

This frog is Central Europe, knocking at the gates of NATO and the European Union. NATO and the European Union have not yet made up their minds to kiss. They don’t yet know whether they prefer to have a talking frog or a new wife.

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Lima