26 April 2011

Right-wing populist parties gaining ground in Europe

Excerpts from an article in Spiegel Online:
It is ironic that it is here in Finland -- a part of Europe that always seemed eminently European -- that a movement is now coming to power that inveighs against immigrants and abortions, considers Brussels to be the "heart of darkness" and rejects all financial assistance for what it calls "wasteful countries," like Greece, Ireland and Portugal. "We were too soft on Europe," says Soini, adding that Finland should not be made to "pay for the mistakes of others."..

The entire program to rescue the euro could be in jeopardy, because it has to be approved unanimously by the entire European Union. That includes both the anticipated aid for Portugal, the additional billions for the euro bailout fund and the planned reform of the fund...

The successes of right-wing populists could indeed exacerbate the smoldering euro crisis. Tensions between the wealthy countries in the north, who are contributing most to the bailouts, and the ailing debtor nations in the periphery already threaten to destroy the monetary union. If a European version of the American Tea Party movement develops, it could very well become the kiss of death for the euro...
Much more at the link.


  1. Most of these so-called "right-wing" parties are nothing of the sort, but are called that by the European MSM (such as Der Spiegel) in order to discredit them. The thrust of these parties' message is opposition to the illiberal influence of Islam and the EU. In Europe, Islamists are the nearest equivalent of our Christian Right -- they're the main driving force behind a theocratic, anti-gay, anti-women's-rights agenda.

    The EU is an institution without democratic legitimacy. Not only is it wasting vast amounts of money trying to prop up its unsustainable common currency, but in the countries receiving bail-outs it has imposed cruel austerity policies in the face of already-high unemployment, because it prioritizes deficit reduction over job creation -- just like the Ryan brand of Republicans in the US are trying to do.

    The background of a lot of the leading figures illustrates this. Pim Fortuyn, for example, founder of the first anti-Islamist party in the Netherlands, was a gay, Marxist academic -- hardly a teabagger-like figure.

    Finland's True Finns party is something of an exception since it really does have a Christian, anti-gay, and anti-abortion element in its platform, but that's not what won it so many votes. People were voting for the only party that would stand up to the EU.

  2. Thank you for the insight, Infidel. I"m obviously a babe in the woods re European politics.

  3. In my country (Netherlands) just a little under half of the voters chose a coalition of three blame-the-other parties: the anti-islamists (with a liberal social agenda), the Christian conservatives (as compared to our very liberal society, of course) and our pro-asphalt party that is kinda right wing economically. Keep in mind we've all been raised social democrats and people have been spoiled rotten since 1945. Fear has been installed in our citizens and they react accordingly. Many of the anti-islamist voters have never seen a Muslim in their lives.

    Still, in our major cities (all under a million people) the juvenile delinquents of Moroccan descent are very visible and easy scape goats. Often justly. They in turn respond by shifting toward an anti-western and pro Arab orientation, which doesn't make sense if you think about it, because they descend from the Berber people who have always been at war with the Arabs. It's a testosterone fuelled idea of radical Islam that seems to appeal to the average inner city sixteen year old.

    So this is the mess we're in: we've been spoiled, we have a right to everything, we blame the strangers (including the EU) for any injustice we feel, the strangers dont' take it very well, and no one is stopping us.


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