By: John Laughland
Throughout the history of European integration, its supporters have often used transport metaphors to sell their project.
In the 1960s, Europe was a bicycle which had to keep moving forward for fear of falling over.
In the 1980s, Europe was a boat or a train which laggards were in danger of missing.
These metaphors were banal and nonsensical until 1999, when one of them proved to be prophetic. In the euphoria generated by the launch of the single currency, the euro, on Jan.1 of that year, a European official announced that Europe was now “on a freeway which has no exit.”
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