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It is clear: voters in the EU are moving more and more to the (far-)right

In Italy voters turned their back on the mainstream parties. They felt abandoned by the rest of the EU, as its coastal areas bore the brunt of the influx of migrants crossing the Mediterranean

By: N. Peter Kramer - Posted: Friday, March 09, 2018

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Election results all over the EU reveal extraordinary levels of voter discontent. The centre-left lost support massively, while the far-right went from strength to strength. One effect is that it is becomes more and more acceptable for centre-right parties to govern with the far-right.
Election results all over the EU reveal extraordinary levels of voter discontent. The centre-left lost support massively, while the far-right went from strength to strength. One effect is that it is becomes more and more acceptable for centre-right parties to govern with the far-right.

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by N. Peter Kramer

Italy’s anti-establishment 5-Star movement and the far-right Liga Nord became winners. The coalition of centre-right Forza Italia (Berlusconi!), Liga Nord plus the nationalists of Fratelli d’Italia was, as a bloc, the biggest but lacks enough seats for a majority in the Parliament and has to find a partner. 

The anti-establishment 5-Star Movement? Or the Partito Democratico, the centre-left loser in the elections?

For the EU elite, the result of the Italian election was so bad that even the failure of the appalling Silvio Berlusconi came as a disappointment. Meanwhile ‘populism’, as they call it in ‘Brussels’, is in the driving seat in Poland, Hungary and Austria and will govern Italy as well in the coming years. 

In The Netherlands Geert Wilders leads the second largest group in the parliament; for now, the GroKo coalition of a loser (CDU) and a big loser (SPD) can go on in Germany, the main opposition party is the Alternative fűr Deutschland. And let’s not forget, in France more than 1/3 of the voters chose Marie le Pen.  

Election results all over the EU reveal extraordinary levels of voter discontent. The centre-left lost support massively, while the far-right went from strength to strength. One effect is that it is becomes more and more acceptable for centre-right parties to govern with the far-right. 

Look at Bulgaria and Austria, the current and next holders of the rotating EU Presidency. Nationalist ministers nowadays chair EU ministerial meetings. All becoming generally accepted in the EU.

In late May 2019, there are elections for the European Parliament. It is of course very interesting to see what the turn-out of voters will be? The expectation is less than the 42% of 2014. In which case, would it not be reasonable to raise the question what the legitimacy is of this parliament? 

Also crucial is whether a substantial part of the votes goes to anti-EU parties. How would the EU elite react on this, or will it just be business as usual for them?

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Editor’s Column

A ‘Union’ in disarray

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