Letter: Federal Europe

Sir: Anthony Hoyle (letter, 2 August) can't see the European wood for the trees. He says that "the artificial political integration of disparate nation states has in every case ended in bloodshed."

Does he mean Yugoslavia? Surely not. The years in which the peoples of that region were federated within a single state are just about the only ones in 700 years characterised by ethnic peace. Or is he talking about Switzerland? A very prosperous multi-ethnic, multi-lingual, multi-cultural federal state which has existed in almost perfect harmony for the last 600 years.

Or indeed, is he referring to the UK, a multi-national state whose constituent parts were ethnically, culturally and linguistically different when the Union came into being? Let's hope for all our sakes that it will not end in the civil war and bloodshed of which he speaks.

PAT MURTAGH

Brighton, East Sussex

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