Czech President Vaclav Klaus greeted his country’s entry to the European Union on Saturday by warning Czechs that they risked losing sovereignty and being disillusioned in their union with western Europe. “I want to welcome both those who look forward to EU entry and those who have serious qualms. And I want to warn that they could be disillusioned,” he said in comments broadcast shortly after midnight on the private television network Nova from a fabled mountain in the center of the country. Earlier, Klaus had in Prague reiterated his view that his country would lose much of its decision-making powers to the EU. “Many of the decisions will be made in Brussels and our voice in the decision-making process will only be part of that. That will confine our sovereignty and anyone who thinks about it will see that,” he told journalists.

The European Union will be a human tragedy. I guarantee it. How long it will take, I don’t know, but the foolish people who elected to give up their sovereignty will be no more pleased to live under the rule of the Fourth Reich than they were under its predecessor. It will take a little longer for them to realize it, that’s all. If Hitler had been more clever, he would have used financial grants in the place of panzers and won a more lasting victory.

I wonder how long it will be before the grants stop and the iron hand inside the velvet glove begins to show itself. The Euro is forever, as Romano Prodi once said. I wonder, too, which state will be the first to attempt, unsuccessfully, to leave.