In the immediate aftermath of Britain’s vote to leave the EU, there were fears in the corridors of Brussels that it would trigger a so-called ‘domino effect’. Many predicted that other Eurosceptic nations would follow Britain’s lead, unravelling the European project which took 65 years to build. More than one year after the Brexit vote, spirits in Brussels are relatively high. The popular European federalist, Guy Verhofstadt, is even hailing a ‘reverse domino-effect’.
However, over the weekend, a little-noticed political earthquake struck the Czech Republic as Andrej Babiš, a Trump-style populist billionaire, led his ‘Action for Dissatisfied Citizens’ party to victory in the country’s legislative election. The 63-year-old tycoon, who built his campaign on opposition to mass migration and Eurozone membership, secured 78 of the 101 seats required for a majority in the lower house.