Yet, over a generation ago, the potentially explosive dispute between Austria and Italy over the alleged mistreatment of the German-speaking population of the Alto Adige/Sudtirol was peacefully settled by patient negotiation, notwithstanding that one of the parties was an EEC member and the other was not. And in the succeeding decades, Western Europeans have grown both older and richer.
Middle-class nations with increasingly middle-aged populations are extremely disinclined to go to war against one another, however great the provocation. Violent separatist conflict initiated by aggrieved groups within nations - or federations - is of course a different matter.
Yours faithfully, LORD MONSON House of Lords London, SW1
27 JanuaryReuse content