THE resignation of Bulgaria’s government is a warning for other European countries in that the centre-right government of Boyko Borisov is seen as another casualty of "austerity". Yet Bulgaria has not suffered especially severe austerity measures.

It was the government’s failure to deliver growth — coupled with rising prices — that sparked the mass protests. Borisov deserves credit for stepping aside without risking further violence. One lesson from the government’s implosion is that whoever takes power next must redouble efforts to stamp out corruption. Borisov came to power in 2009 promising exactly that, but progress has been slow. Another is that, for all the focus on fiscal discipline, growth matters. Bulgaria comfortably meets the Maastricht criteria for euro entry, but that does not win votes. It is a lesson governments even in wealthier states may yet learn to their cost.

London, February 21