This is not to say that anti-Semitism is uniquely confined to these states; rather, in the absence of a healthy polity, anti-Semitism takes root, sickening civil society and government, which in turn breeds more anti-Semitism.
Beneath the success of these individual stories is a somewhat odder truth: the Baltics only fit the European Union slightly better than they did the Soviet one.
This is a dangerous gamble. Poor but thriving Estonia may not be thriving much longer, and may not have enough to help rich but struggling Greece.
Despite its remarkable gains, Estonia has shown no sign of being able to escape its culture and its past.
The problem for the West’s allies is that the PRISM program sounds almost exactly like NKVD/KGB operations, from secret wiretaps to anonymous government officials analyzing reams of data to identify suspects behind black, closed doors.
Estonia has become increasingly influential in European circles for its tight fiscal management and an economy that has shown surprising resilience in the face of the ongoing slow meltdown of Europe.
Estonia boasts the lowest government debt in the entire European Union. In case anyone from Germany is reading this and scowling, it is worth adding that Estonia’s numbers were also the lowest by percentage of GDP.
With Europe in recession, the East will face continued tough times. However, even today some countries and some companies are doing well. With the right policies, the region can prosper in spite of the West’s difficulties.
Tallinn obviously had advantages that other former Soviet republics did not. Nevertheless, Estonia’s e-government experience demonstrates that even a small nation can take an innovative lead.
The Eurozone continues to go from bad to worse. Greece may be on its way out. Spain wants a bank bail-out. Buried amongst this depressing cascade of impending catastrophe is some good news. The Baltic States have demonstrated the art of economic reform.