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The Emerging European Politics
Political Polarization Proceeds in Europe

Europe’s political crack-up continues this week as governments fall and populist parties surge. First, as Open Europe reports:

Austrian Chancellor Werner Faymann… announced his shock resignation after losing the support of his Social-Democratic party (SPÖ). He had come under increasing pressure due to the victory of the far-right FPÖ in the first round of the presidential elections in April – a direct result of the migration crisis. In a statement, Faymann, who has been Chancellor since 2008 said, “This country needs a Chancellor who gets full support from his party. The government needs to make a strong new start. Whoever does not have this support cannot accomplish this task.” Faymann’s resignation is unlikely to trigger new elections. Austria’s ruling coalition has a mandate until 2018, and the SPÖ is expected to nominate a new Chancellor in the coming days.

Meanwhile to the north:

A new Insa poll for Bild puts German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s CDU/CSU on 30.5% (-1.5) – its lowest score ever recorded by the polling institute. Her centre-left coalition partners, the SPD, are on 19.5%, giving the current grand coalition government a total of 50% –  17 percentage points lower than when it formed after the last federal elections in 2013. Meanwhile, the right-wing populist AfD is on 15% (+1.5%); the Greens on 13%; hard-left Die Linke on 10%, and the liberal FDP on 8%.

No prizes for guessing which issue is driving these two developments.

And in Club Med, the Spanish far-left is consolidating:

Spain’s anti-austerity Podemos party has joined forces with its smaller leftwing rival, Izquierda Unida, in a move that boosts the prospects for the country’s far left in the forthcoming general election and piles fresh pressure on the centre-left Socialists.

The joint list has potentially important ramifications for the general election next month, not least because it increases the chances that the Socialists (PSOE) will be pushed into third place, depriving the centre-left party of its decades-old status as the leading voice of the Spanish left. Depending on how centrist voters respond to the pact, it could also raise the chances of a left-of-centre majority after June 26.

While in Italy, Beppe Grillo’s populist Five Star movement is surging:

The anti-establishment 5-Star Movement has overtaken Prime Minister Matteo Renzi’s Democratic Party (PD) as Italy’s most popular party ahead of crucial local elections next month, according to the latest opinion poll.

The Index Research poll, commissioned by current affairs program Piazza Pulita and broadcast on Monday evening, showed 28.4 percent of Italians would now vote for 5-Star in a national election, compared with 28.0 percent for the PD.

“Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold.” At least not if it keeps performing like it has been in Europe lately.

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  • ljgude

    Quite a mix. The Swedish Democrats were not mentioned but they seem to be making serious headway on the right too. In its own way Europe is as politically unstable as the US is in a very different way. I do notice that immigration is the driver of the political chaos despite the obvious differences in the nature of the immigration problem. I would add that Australia has clamped right down on immigration – much easier because illegal immigrants must come by boat – and it has been so effective that both political parties agree to continue the zero boats policy – therefore setting Australia on a very different trajectory than Europe and the US.

  • Jacksonian_Libertarian

    In the 1st world the most valuable thing most of the citizens own is their share of the “National Inheritance”. The wealthy elites in these countries have been diluting, degrading, and allowing the theft of this property for their own purposes. The Citizens rightly recognize that it is their ancestors, and their culture, that has built their “National Inheritance”. And like their ancestors did before them, they had expected to add to the value of the inheritance before they passed it on to their children. The Elites are destroying this expectation, along with the value of the “National Inheritance”. Share’s of the “National Inheritance” are being given away to legal and illegal immigrants which come from backward and culturally inferior nations, which have never become Modern Civilized Nations, and won’t without major cultural changes. When this injustice is added to the Burden of the Big Government Welfare State which has crippled growth, jobs, and reduced the future value of the “National Inheritance”. Most Citizens are rightly up in arms about the elites treasonous sabotage of their most valuable asset.

  • Beauceron

    I sure hope Europe can save itself.

    There needs to be someplace for white Americans to flee to once the Left finishes completely wrecking the US.

    • Gregale

      Space, the final frontier…

    • Tom

      For law-abiding Americans. There’s too many nonwhites who hold to the law to write them off, and too many whites who won’t hold to the law to make whiteness some kind of useful predictor.

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