As the recession bites, there is a sense of something in the air in Europe that doesn't bode well for not only the Governments but the entire system that they run their countries by.
Almost 20 years ago many Governments in the East of Europe ditched communism and put their faith in a capitalist system much feted by the West. This very same system is now in crisis and quite rightly, the people have every reason to feel betrayed but it isn't just the former communist bloc that citizens are taking to the streets. The big, wealthy democracies of Western Europe are also hearing the growing mumblings of discontent and as Europe's time of troubles deepen, Governments are right to be worried as revolt is in the air.
This weekend France was at standstill by a wave of strike action and riots over growing unemployment, wildcat strikes hit the length and breadth of Britain as oil workers downed tools over job security and the bringing in of Italian and Portuguese workers. Angry protesters gathered in Hungary as unemployment rockets, Greek farmers joined students to blockade motorways and major roads, Latvia witnessed 15,000 demonstrators rampaging through the capital and trying to storm the parliament.
Ukraine, Lithuania and Iceland have also seen violent protests and if the pundits are to believed, the economic situation is going to get much worse before it gets any better and it will be in the East Europeans countries where the recession is going to make the most changes to the political landscape as the inevitable calls grow for a return to Communism.
The conclusion that they are rapidly reaching is that they have lost the attractive sides of communism (subsidized housing, cheap fuel, guaranteed jobs) as well as the less desirable aspects (secret police, censorship).
That is the trade off and they would have every right to ask questions about the economic system that they have adopted and was sold to them by the West as the route to economic wealth and stability.
Governments will fall as things grow worse and the East European Parliaments look the most fragile and susceptible to a revolution. The irony is that it was two decades of Capitalism that made Communism look attractive again to those who have lived through both and decide that the disadvantages of Capitalism far outweigh the disadvantages of Communism.