Can’t beat a 21st Century Eurovision Song Contest for lessons on the dynamics of the new Europe. Talk about New vs. Old. Fringe vs. centre. East vs. West. Anyway, the fringe is obviously where it’s at now. Those picturesque Eastern European capitals with their glistening waterfronts and their pretty mediaeval old towns and their flat taxes are the new centre.
Slow, old, slow growth Western Europe nicely filled out the bottom four places (Britain at least made it off the bottom). Swirling, folk-inflected ‘Eastern’ sounds dominated the competition, from Greece to Moldova. Self-confident, good looking, aspirational, enthusiastically-English speaking artists made all the running. Greece may have won but the real competition was between the new nations of the Balkans and Eastern Europe. Get your hat, Europe’s going East.