In scenes not seen in Europe since the long night of the Thirties, almost every day is bringing new evidence that, in the shattered ruins of the Greek dream, the forces of xenophobia are gathering strength.

In June’s general election, the neo-Nazi Golden Dawn party won 18 seats. And earlier this month, uniformed party thugs attacked a theatre in Athens which was staging a show which depicted Jesus and the Apostles as gay men in Texas…

Just look at the situation in Italy. Last November, as its economy imploded, the crooked and inept Silvio Berlusconi was forced out of office and replaced with an unelected, technocratic government answerable to Brussels and Berlin.

From any democratic standpoint, that was pretty bad. What is worse, though, is that despite the appalling revelations about Mr Berlusconi’s grotesque sexual depravity, and despite the fact that he has only just been found guilty of fraud and tax evasion, he is now threatening to bring down the government and launch a new bid for office.