In Europe, anti-austerity sentiment isn’t just for the south anymore. If recent polls hold till next month’s elections in the Netherlands, the far left Socialist Party will become the largest party, more than doubling in size, while the nationalistic anti-EU Freedom Party will remain the third largest, reports the Wall Street Journal:
As one of the euro zone’s richest members, the Netherlands is an important contributor to the rescue packages for struggling Southern European countries. It is also a member of the German-led bloc that propagates austerity as the cure for the debt crisis. The Sept. 12 elections will test Dutch voter support for this strategy.
The Socialist Party condemns the “capitalist European super-state” and its bailouts as helping only the banks and financial speculators who caused the crisis, and the Freedom Party is a longstanding opponent of European projects. If both parties perform in line with current expectations, it may make a euro agreement between the south and the north even more difficult.It’s not a good sign that extremist parties are gaining even in the healthier economies of Northern Europe.