|April 5th, 2014||#21|
Join Date: Aug 2012
If their goal was truly to dismantle the European Union, they would include Golden Dawn, BNP, and Jobbik. But they won't. Why? Because Jews don't like Golden Dawn, BNP, and Jobbik, and the Jews are the ones who are funding and backing these fake nationalists as a back up plan.
Out of the FPO, Vlaams Belang, and Sweden Democrats (what a fucking obnoxious name) , I have nothing good to say about any of them. They are all repulsive butt-goys for the Jew, with Geert Wilders Tanya Harding-ing competing Dutch neo-cons and jumping countless hurdles just to ram his tongue up Big Jews ass. Put that bottle blonde tranny into power and you will see no impact on non-white immigration, these are the clowns that came up with that ridiculous Dutch citizenship test that makes Muslims watch gay porn and say they think its great as the only barrier to getting in.
I can only say maybe 1 or 2 good things about Le Pen, she's not as extreme in terms of the stomach churning Liberalism as Geert Wilders, and she has better views on foreign policy (IE supported Putin against America in Crimea) . Maybe deep down she likes Golden Dawn and knows Jews are the #1 enemy, but that's the problem with having a woman lead a radical political party, she's going to take the easiest path possible and ditch the people doing the right thing like Nick Griffin, Gabor Vona, or Michaloliako.
"The favorite slogan of the reds is: 'No Pasarán!: Yes we have passed! And we tell them...and we tell them, we will pass again!'"
― Benito Mussolini after the Communist capitulation in Barcelona
|April 5th, 2014||#22|
Funny to see Nick Griffin saying the right things these days. Perhaps the Greeks got through to him, but anyone who trusts him to keep a line ignores his history.
|April 9th, 2014||#23|
Special Report: From Hungary, far-right party spreads ideology, tactics
BY MARCIN GOETTIG AND CHRISTIAN LOWE
WARSAW Wed Apr 9, 2014
Far-right protesters walk during the annual far-right march, which coincides with Poland's National Independence Day in Warsaw November 11, 2013. REUTERS-Kacper Pempel
1 OF 7.
(Reuters) - In a rented public hall not far from Poland's parliament, about 150 people gathered one afternoon late last year to hear speeches by a collection of far-right leaders from around Europe.
The event was organized by Ruch Narodowy, or National Movement, a Polish organization that opposes foreign influences, views homosexuality as an illness and believes Poland is threatened by a leftist revolution hatched in Brussels.
Chief attraction was Marton Gyongyosi, one of the leaders of Hungarian far-right party Jobbik.
In a 20-minute speech, Gyongyosi addressed the crowd, mostly men in their thirties and forties, as "our Polish brothers," and railed against globalization, environmentalists, socialists, and what he called a cabal of Western economic interests.
Poles needed to resist the forces hurting ordinary people, he said, before urging "regional cooperation between our countries."
It is a familiar rallying cry. Far-right groups have emerged or grown stronger across Europe in the wake of the financial crisis, and they are increasingly sharing ideas and tactics. Reuters has found ties between at least half a dozen of the groups in Europe's ex-Communist east. At the network's heart, officials from those groups say, sits Jobbik.
The party won 20.54 percent of the vote in Hungary's parliamentary election on April 6, up from the 15.86 percent it won in 2010, cementing its status as by far the largest far-right group in Eastern Europe.
From its strong base at home, Jobbik has stepped up efforts to export its ideology and methods to the wider region, encouraging far-right parties to run in next month's European parliamentary elections, and propagating a brand of nationalist ideology which is so hardline and so tinged with anti-Semitism, that some rightist groups in Western Europe have distanced themselves from the Hungarians.
The spread of Jobbik's ideology has alarmed anti-racism campaigners, gay rights activists, and Jewish groups. They believe it could fuel a rise in racially-motivated, anti-Semitic or homophobic street attacks. Longer-term, they say, it could help the far-right gain more political power.
In a statement sent to Reuters, Jobbik said that it hoped the people of central and eastern Europe would unite in an "alliance that spreads from the Adriatic to the Baltic Sea," to counter what it called Euro-Atlantic suppression.
Jobbik rejected any link between the growing strength of radical nationalists and violence. "Jobbik condemns violence, and its members cannot be linked to such acts either," it said.
The day after Gyongyosi's speech last November, Jobbik's leader, Gabor Vona, addressed another rally in a Warsaw park.
"The path to final victory involves a million small steps," he told the crowd, through a translator. "You should take up this challenge. Take part in the European elections."
The crowd chanted: "Poland and Hungary are brothers!"
As they marched through the city earlier that day, some of the Polish participants fought pitched battles with police and set fire to a rainbow sculpture erected as a symbol of diversity.
Poland is not the only example of Jobbik's regional outreach. Far-right groups in Poland, Slovakia, Croatia, and Bulgaria told Reuters they have ties with fellow parties in several countries in the region. Jobbik sat at the center of that web, the only one with contacts with all the parties.
Nick Griffin, leader of the British National Party (BNP), one of the few far right parties in Western Europe with close relations with Jobbik, said the Hungarian party is the driving force behind efforts to forge a far-right coalition.
Other groups say they admire the party because of its success in Hungary and its organizational muscle.
Jobbik appears to operate on a shoestring. It has an annual budget of $2.34 million, according to the Hungarian state audit office, most of it from a state allowance to parties in parliament. Jobbik denies giving financial aid to other groups, but it can afford its own staff, travel, and facilities - all factors that enhance its influence.
"Jobbik is a market leader of sorts," Gyongyosi said. "There are shared values, and the way Jobbik grew big, why could the same thing not happen elsewhere?"
"AGAINST THE DICTATES OF BRUSSELS"
Broadly speaking those shared values include a strong opposition to Brussels, a dislike of immigrants, and a suspicion of Jews and of the Roma, an ethnic minority who number about 10 million in Eastern Europe and who have faced centuries of discrimination.
Hromoslav Skrabak, leader of 19-year-old Slovakian group Slovenska Pospolitost, has argued for racial segregation and "humanitarian" methods to reduce Roma fertility. Skrabak said his group cooperates with far-right groups in Belarus, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Romania, and Serbia to jointly fight "against the dictate of Brussels," and to spread the idea of pan-Slavism, a union of ethnic Slavs.
Frano Cirko, a member of the Croatian Pure Party of Rights, said cooperation between far-right groups helped take on "neo-liberal" capitalism, which he said threatened national values in Europe and made it too easy for foreign firms to buy Croatian companies.
Angel Dzhambazki, deputy leader of Bulgaria's VMRO, a movement that has its roots in the late 19th century and was revived in 1990, said its "close cooperation" with Jobbik and a Croatian group had helped it grow. "We invite them to participate in our meetings, and at the same time we take part in events organized by them."
VRMO is in the process of forming a coalition with a new populist party called Bulgaria Without Censorship. A poll by Bulgaria's Institute of Modern Politics showed that, together, the parties would have 5.6 percent support for the European Parliament election, putting them third and giving them a chance of winning one of Bulgaria's allocation of 17 seats. The elections for the European Parliament take place on May 22-25 in all 28 member states of the bloc.
Jobbik has had less success in Western Europe, where more established nationalist parties reject its anti-Semitic views. In 2012, Jobbik's Gyongyosi told the Hungarian parliament that Jews were a threat to national security and should be registered on lists. He later apologized and said he had been misunderstood. But parties such as the Dutch Party of Freedom, which is staunchly pro-Israel, and France's National Front, which has sought to move away from its anti-Semitic past, are both wary of the Hungarian group.
Jobbik's principal ally in Western Europe is the British National Party. Griffin, its leader, said the BNP and Jobbik were working together on building a functioning bloc of nationalists within the European Parliament.
"I would say probably I do more of the work in eastern and southern Europe than they (Jobbik) do, whereas they tend to concentrate on the center and the east," Griffin said in a telephone interview.
Opinion polls in Britain suggest the BNP will lose the two seats it currently holds in the European parliament.
One far-right party that polls predict will win seats in Brussels is Greece's Golden Dawn, which says it wants to rid the country of the "stench" of immigrants. But Jobbik told Reuters Golden Dawn was "unfit" for the Hungarian party to cooperate with. Golden Dawn spokesman Ilias Kasidiaris said there was no official cooperation with Jobbik.
Cas Mudde, assistant professor at the School for Public and International Affairs at the University of Georgia in the United States, said that Jobbik is driven in part to look for allies "to show that it is not some kind of marginal phenomenon. There are two ways to do that: You can do it nationally, which is very hard, or you can do it internationally by saying: 'Look, we have friends all over the place.'"
"THIS IS DANGEROUS"
Last May, the World Jewish Congress (WJC) urged European governments to consider banning neo-Nazi parties that threatened democracy and minority rights. The WJC met in the Hungarian capital Budapest to underscore its concerns about Jobbik.
Rafal Pankowski from Never Again, a Polish anti-racist association that tracks cases of racially motivated violence, said he feared that Jobbik's efforts to spread its tactics and ideology could lead to more violence against minorities.
"This is dangerous," he said of Jobbik's international influence. "If similar groups in other countries copy this model ... then the situation might worsen."
Robert Biedron, a gay member of the Polish parliament, said Polish far-right activists ran a website called Red Watch where they posted pictures and personal details of people they described as "queers and deviants," as well as lists of left-wing activists and Jewish academics.
Biedron reported to police that he was beaten up in Warsaw at the end of February in what he believes was a homophobic attack.
Biedron said he did not expect Ruch Narodowy to win seats in this year's European election, but the Polish party's support was rising, and it had a chance in next year's Polish parliamentary polls. If that happens, he said, it will use parliament to promote its rhetoric "based on hate for others."
Jobbik's network-building has been most successful in Poland in part because Poland and Hungary have no historical claims on each other's territory, an issue that has often hindered cooperation between Jobbik and nationalists from other neighbors.
On a sandy riverbank in the shadow of a bridge over the river Vistula, members of the paramilitary arm of Ruch Narodowy rehearsed for their role as stewards before November's rally in Warsaw.
Some looked like the stereotype of far-right skinheads. Others were middle-class professionals. One showed up in an Audi saloon, another in an expensive sports utility vehicle. The unit's leader, Przemyslaw Czyzewski, said several members were lawyers.
A diagram of the organization's structure showed it had a military-style hierarchy, and units called "choragiew", a word which was used in the past to describe Polish cavalry formations.
Explaining why he decided to join the unit, one man said he wanted to defend Polish values under threat from foreign influences. "I finally had to do something," said the man, in his thirties, who did not give his name.
The group denies it takes its inspiration from Hungary, but it has striking similarities with Jobbik's paramilitary wing, called "Magyar Garda," or Hungarian Guard. In 2008 a court ruled that Magyar Garda threatened the dignity of Roma and Jewish people. The group disbanded but was quickly replaced by a similar organization.
Robert Winnicki, the bookish, bespectacled 28-year-old leader of Ruch Narodowy, has described homosexuality as "a plague" and talked of creating a "new type of Pole" disciplined enough to take on the country's enemies.
He told Reuters that the aim of his movement's contacts with foreign peers was to "exchange experiences, learn from each other."
Winnicki traveled to Hungary in March last year to address a rally of Jobbik activists.
"Inspired by your example, we are organizing a national movement today in Poland," he told his Hungarian hosts, according to a published transcript.
"An army is quickly growing in Poland which soon, on its section of the front, will join the battle that you are conducting. And together we will march to victory."
(Additional reporting by Marton Dunai in Budapest, Renee Maltezou in Athens, Tsvetelia Tsolova and Angel Krasimirov in; Sofia, Robert Muller in Prague, and Zoran Radosavljevic and Igor Ilic in Zagreb; Editing by Simon Robinson and Sara Ledwith)
Special Report: From Hungary, far-right party spreads ideology, tactics
The article has it’s errors:
1. Hromoslav Skrabak could not have worked with far-right groups from Hungary and Romania to spread the idea of pan-Slavism, a union of ethnic Slavs. Romania is a Latin language-speaking country that is closer to French than to any slavic language, while Hungarians’ language is not even from the Indoeuropean language family.
2. Biedroń was hit twice already, if that makes a difference.
Apr 09, 2014 5:39am EDT -- Report as abuse
“… where more established nationalist parties reject its anti-Semitic views …”
“… where offending Jews can get you serious fines/jail time …”
Fixed it for ya.
Apr 09, 2014 5:51am EDT -- Report as abuse
Thus begins the 4th turning…
Apr 09, 2014 6:35am EDT -- Report as abuse
Always the same cry about the “Far Right”. Hysteria and fear instead of thinking “why would the membership in these groups be rising?”. And it’s always the same reasons but they are ignored: governments pushed by special interest race groups to give advantage to foreigners, seconded by the rich who want cheap labor to increase their profits.
Apr 09, 2014 8:16am EDT -- Report as abuse
“The spread of Jobbik’s ideology has alarmed anti-racism campaigners, gay rights activists, and Jewish groups.”
In other words, they’re scaring all the right folks.
If you aren’t catching flak, you’re not over the target.
As for Ruch Narodowy, they: oppose foreign influences (healthy national pride), view homosexuality as an illness (it is) and believe Poland is threatened by a leftist revolution hatched in Brussels (correct, as the EU is Soviet Union lite). So what’s wrong with them?
Apr 09, 2014 8:57am EDT -- Report as abuse
Once intellectuals join these groups I will be really worried
Apr 09, 2014 10:00am EDT -- Report as abuse
There’s already more than a firm intellectual basis for this.
First, though, comes the street cred.
Apr 09, 2014 10:30am EDT -- Report as abuse
Oh good, more facists. Hitler lost the war but left us with a legacy greater than any military victory. He left us with the ideology that is predominant amongst all western nations and those they hope to convert.
Apr 09, 2014 11:19am EDT -- Report as abuse
@Macedonian: Well, the poor sophistication of the article (judging by the errors that I mentioned above) suggests that the bulk of intellectuals in, say, Hungary have already leaned towards stances more similar to those shared by nationalist party members. It’s easy to commit such basic mistakes if someone does not come from the region. It must be that Reuters can’t find enough of good contributors who would be based in Eastern Europe and that would support Reuters’ line of argumentation.
Apr 09, 2014 11:28am EDT -- Report as abuse
Hitler’s ideas dominate the West. Wow, funny stuff.
The way the PTB are always going after “Nazis,” well, that’s quite a clever cover those Hitlerite regimes have going there.
And yeah, Hitler was pro-open borders, pro-multicult and anti-racist.
Apr 09, 2014 12:33pm EDT -- Report as abuse
It’s no surprise that right wing movements are springing up across Europe in the last 10 years. Hard times, caused in part by EU supranational policy, often lead to nationalist and protectionist sentiments. It’s rather unfortunate that these groups become associated with anti-semitism, racism, etc. thus making their other policies unsavory by association. I think these parties could gain more momentum if they avoided such controversies entirely. It would certainly give their opponents less political ammo!
Apr 09, 2014 12:59pm EDT -- Report as abuse
The oft quoted episode of the Hungarian Jobbik’s Gyongyosi with his list fails to mention a tiny bit of info, that in the Hungarian parliament and key government positions there are Hungarian Jews with dual Hungarian – Israeli citizenship who manage to successfully hide this little fct. There is no rule against it. Of course if anyone dares to mention it he is considered committing a cardinal sin. Punishment for poking the holy cow taboo with a stick is the automatic one size fits all labeling as racist, Nazi, anti-Semite. It is remarkable, because in the Israeli Knesset itself house rules clearly forbid anyone with dual citizenship to hold office. Understandable if you think about it for a moment. How can one swear allegiance to a foreign power and serve two masters at the same time? Unless of course he/she out of patriotic duty is working for the other side.
Apr 09, 2014 1:01pm EDT -- Report as abuse
I wonder how these various groups allied with Jobbik in Romania, Serbia, Croatia, and Slovakia manage to reconcile themselves with Jobbik’s aim of restoring Hungary to its pre-1914 borders. But then again, nationalists aren’t well known for their reasoning abilities
Apr 09, 2014 1:26pm EDT -- Report as abuse
Everybody who is against Zionist Banker Gang is called “far right”
Apr 09, 2014 3:05pm EDT -- Report as abuse
How true about the ‘dual citizenship’ problem in Hungarian government. However, I don’t think Hungary is the only country with the dual citizenship problem. And, you don’t have to go far – - take a good look at all the Israeli/American dual citizenship held by various people that have overwhelming politically-influential presence in the U.S.A. – basically, everywhere it “counts”!
Apr 09, 2014 3:06pm EDT -- Report as abuse
With a twist of words or theme, this story would fit well within our newly revised Republican Party Platform which mimics that of the Libertarian Party.
Apr 09, 2014 3:08pm EDT -- Report as abuse
Last edited by Alex Linder; April 9th, 2014 at 08:00 PM.
|April 23rd, 2014||#24|
EU elections may strengthen Putin in Europe
RELATED EU countries to boost defence budgets in light of Ukraine Russia and China forge closer ties, as EU explores sanctions
BY ESZTER ZALAN
BRUSSELS - Far-right parties are set to do well in next month’s elections to the European Parliament, a fact that has thrown a spotlight on their links with the Kremlin.
A recent study by the Budapest-based Political Capital Institute documents the support that far-right parties in the EU have given to Russian President Vladimir Putin, particularly throughout the Ukraine crisis.
These parties repeated the Kremlin’s line that it is the EU and the West, rather than Russia, which are provoking tension and fuelling violence in the Eastern European country.
Several far-right politicians went to observe the Crimea referendum on re-joining Russia, a vote they said was free and fair although it was denounced as illegitimate by most Western leaders.
Among those that went were politicians from far-right or populist parties in Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, France and Hungary.
The EU-based parties – anti-European Union and favouring a strong nation state – see their world view reflected in the Kremlin. President Vladimir Putin has set his sights on restoring his country’s status as a world power, while weakening Euro-Atlantic ties.
"There is reason to believe that Russian diplomacy seeks to build party families in Europe," the study says.
It cites numerous examples of far-right parties participating in events attended by or organised by Russian policymakers.
A congress held by Italy’s Northern League in December last year, for example, was attended by Austrian, Flemish, Dutch and Swedish far-right leaders as well as Vikto Zubarev, an MP for United Russia, Putin’s party.
Hungary’s Jobbik and Greece’s Golden Dawn are both invited to the Russian National Forum organised by a group with close ties to Putin to be held later this year.
Admiration for Putin also extends to Europe’s softer right-wing. Nigel Farage, leader of the eurosceptic UK Independence Party, has openly backed Putin as a skillful "operator".
He recently said the Russian President was the current leader he most admired and said the EU had "blood on its hands” for making Ukraine choose between the European Union and Russia.
The support by the European parties – some of which are set to top the polls in the May EU vote – adds to an already muddled backdrop of the EU trying to form a unified response to Moscow’s actions in Ukraine.
It was only after much discussion that the EU finally agreed to blacklist some Russian officials and companies.
Marine Le Pen: new 'Cold War'
Amid the controversy and debate about the state of EU-Russia relations, Marine Le Pen, leader of France’s National Front, headed to Moscow for the second time this year. On 11 April she travelled to meet Sergey Naryshkin, speaker of the Russian parliament's lower house, and named on the EU's sanctions list.
During the visit Le Pen asserted her support for Russia in the Ukrainian crisis, blaming the EU for declaring a new "cold war on Russia”.
Le Pen said Ukraine's eastern regions should be allowed to choose greater independence from Kiev and said she was in favour of a "federation inside Ukraine”. This would be the most "logical" and "respectful" solution to end tensions, she said.
Bulgaria: under pressure over Russia sanctions
Further to the east, recent history complicates matters further. Bulgaria is a member of Nato and the EU, but the former communist country is still very close to Russia. Not only are older citizens Russophiles, but many decision-makers too.
Georgi Kadiev, an MP with the ruling Bulgarian Socialist Party, recently said his father used to be an officer in the Soviet army and today he finds it difficult to explain to him why Bulgaria will go along with sanctions against Moscow over the annexation of Crimea.
The government has so far maintained its support for the sanctions, but it may yet feel the pressure domestically.
The fragile coalition government in Sofia depends on the support of Ataka, an extreme right-wing nationalist party. But Ataka could withdraw its support if the government continues to back sanctions against Russia.
Daniel Smilov, a political analyst, said that Ataka acts as if it were a part of Russia or Putin's Eurasian Union.
Ataka’s official statements underline his point. The party says that the referendum in Crimea reflects the free will of its citizens and that it acknowledges the results and supports the annexation.
Far-right in Austria: flirting with Putin
Election observation in Europe is usually carried out by the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), but the review of the Crimean referendum last month was financed and organised by Brussels-based Eurasian Observatory for Democracy and Elections, led by well-known right-wing politician Luc Michel. The 56-year-old attorney is said to be an admirer of Putin’s United Russia party.
When people in Crimea went to the polls to vote on their annexation to Russia, OSCE officials were not allowed to enter the peninsula.
However, Austrian far-right MPs Johann Gudenus and Johannes Hüber (both from the Freedom Party, FPOe) as well MEP Ewald Stadler were there to check the process.
Bela Kovacs, a Hungarian MEP, and Milan Sarapatka, a Czech MP, were also among the many delegates to rubberstamp the result, recognised only by Russia, Kazakhstan and Armenia as legitimate.
For his part, Heinz-Christian Strache, Austria's Freedom Party leader, has been in contact with Putin’s supporters on a lower level. He visited Moscow in 2011, stating he would maintain "friendly contacts” with United Russia.
Hungary's Jobbik: the best performing pupils
Hungary’s Jobbik earlier this month (6 April) won over 20 percent in national elections making it the far-right party with the highest rate of popular support in Europe.
While some right-wing parties in Western Europe – such as France's National Front – refuse to build alliances with Jobbik, they are welcome guests in Moscow.
There have been rumours about Jobbik's financial ties with Russia in Hungary for years, but nothing has been proven. However, Jobbik politicians openly support the Kremlin, and believe that opening to the east and Russia is essential.
In an interview with The Voice of Russia in 2013, Jobbik leader Gabor Vona said: "I consider Russia as a country of key importance. Besides Turkey, I believe Russia is the other Eurasian power that could spearhead a real political, economic and cultural resistance against the Euro-Atlantic bloc.”
While the overall effect of this far-right support is diffuse, Putin has been clever to exploit more mainstream parties too, playing on member states' economic and energy ties with Russia.
This has seen Hungary's centre-right leader Viktor Orban, for example, agree a nuclear power plant deal with Moscow, financed with a Russian loan of €10bn.
In next month's EU vote, parties such as the National Front, Austria's Freedom Party or UKip are expected to do well, perhaps even emerging top among their domestic peers.
Most analysts say that the parties – notoriously unable to work with one another due to internal squabbling – are unlikely to hinder the legislative work of the European Parliament.
However, their very presence and their relative electoral success could push other mainstream parties towards the same eurosceptic stance – something that would no doubt be welcomed in the Kremlin.
Florence Morice contributed from France; Florian Peschl from Austria and Nicoleta Popkostadinova from Bulgaria
|May 9th, 2014||#25|
A European Union of Zombies
Published on 8 May 2014 15:06, Adelina Marini, Twitter: @euinside
There is no doubt that what awaits the EU and the member states after the European elections in the end of May this year will be a huge test for the Union's system of values. In the best case scenario, what awaits the Union will neither be more nor less Europe but rather more sobering and pragmatism. In the worst case scenario, however, we are to witness a European apocalypse. The reason for this are the growingly convincing polls that suggest that the so called eurosceptic parties will have sufficient majority in the new European Parliament to be able to put an end to the current ideology of creating more Europe. May be, it is not an accident that the EPP candidate for the European Commission presidency, Jean-Claude Juncker, said during the first debate last week that he was striving for a serious Europe not a dreaming Europe.
Most European think-tanks are of the opinion that the eurosceptics will have a very strong voice in the next term. According to the European Council on Foreign Relations (ECFR), a possible coalition of eurosceptic parties will make the life of many mainstream parties in the European Parliament very difficult. They will be able to block the appointment of the European Commission, to veto key legislation, to block the signing of international treaties and trade agreements and to even hinder the European budget. All this against the backdrop of the dark clouds coming from the east and the good, but not inspiring spring forecast of the European Commission about the economic perspectives.
How scary the eurosceptics are?
In their large-scale brief, Mark Leonard and Jose Ignacio Torreblanca divide the problematic parties into four main groups. In the first, they put the far-right parties which, however, are not a homogeneous group because the western European far-right, which includes Marine le Pen's National Front, Lega Nord in Italy, the Dutch Freedom Party and the Austrian Freedom Party, are trying to detoxify themselves. However, in their group are also the central-, eastern- and southeastern European far-right parties like Golden Dawn in Greece, Jobbik in Hungary, Dawn of Direct Democracy in the Czech Republic and the Bulgarian party Ataka which are openly xenophobic and anti-Semitic platforms. Toxic = not controlled by jews. In some cases, their scepticism, according to the authors, is aimed at the representative democracy at large. The two subgroups share common visions on migration and are against the euro agenda, but they differentiate on many other things which makes their cohesion difficult.
The second major group which emerges in Leonard's and Torreblanca's analysis, includes, again, right-wing formations like the United Kingdom Independent Party (UKIP), Alternative for Germany, the Flemish Interest (Vlaams Belang), the Slovak National Party, the Danish People’s Party, the Swedish Democrats, and the Finns Party in Finland. In essence, they are not against the representative democracy, nor the fundamental political and civil liberties, although they are trying to exclude certain ethnic or religious communities like the Muslims viewed by them as incapable to integrate. These parties, generally, refrain from violence. The same cannot be said about the first group, especially about some parties in it, although this is not explicitly mentioned in the ECFR analysis.
The second group does not view democracy as a threat or a problem but they view the EU as a threat to national democracy and sovereignty. They strive for a return to national currency (if they are in the euro area), border control (if members of Schengen), to suspend the freedom of establishment and movement and even for leaving the EU if their demands are not met. Neither of the groups has a name in the ECFR analysis which is why euinside affords itself to name them for convenience. So, we can safely name the first group Xenophobic and the second one Democratically Nationalistic.
Leonard's and Torreblanca's third group consists of conservative parties which are members of the European Conservatives and Reformists group in the European Parliament. Currently, its members are the British Conservative Party led by Prime Minister David Cameron, the Polish Law and Justice Party, the Civic Democratic Party in the Czech Republic, the Dutch ChristenUnie, and the Latvian National Alliance. With some reservation, the authors stitch to this group the Czech Party Ano (Yes). However, they have omitted to include in it the Croatian Party for Rights Dr Ante Starcevic, led by Ruza Tomasic. A probable reason for this omission is that she entered the European Parliament through the list of the Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) which, for its part, is a member of the European People's Party. These groups rarely vote for "more Europe" and are internally divided on issues like the common currency and migration. Because they do not participate in government, it is quite possible that they are open for compromises toward the mainstream pro-European forces rather than toward the Xenophobic or the Democratically Nationalistic group, the analysts believe. We can call this group a Tea Party of reasonable people/parties.
The fourth group are the left eurosceptics like the Coalition of Radical Left (Syriza) In Greece, Die Linke in Germany and the Socialist Party in the Netherlands, which are part of the European United Left/Nordic Green Left group in the European Parliament. ECFR views them as eurosceptic in the traditional sense of the word, which means parties that do not share the right-wing eurosceptics' anti-migration agenda, but are deeply critical to the EU in its current view. They want to abolish the euro and that is why they often vote 'nay' on issues like the euro area governance, trade or the single market. Mark Leonard and Jose Ignacio Torreblanca admit that it is possible, from time to time, this group to be joined by the Greens because one of their leaders, the semi-candidate for European Commission chief Jose Bove (semi because there is another Green candidate - Ska Keller) is an anti-globalisation activist. The authors believe that Beppe Grillo's Five Star movement could feel comfortably in this group.
Of all these groups the scariest, undoubtedly, is the Xenophobic one. ECFR believes that it is hard to forecast with accuracy how many will the eurosceptic MEPs be in the next European Parliament, but they suggest that 175 parties have a chance to win a seat. Decisive for the outcome of these elections will be voter turnout which is in constant decline. In 2009, in France it was 40% and in UK it was 34%. The overall turnout in the EU was 43% and in Bulgaria it was 39 per cent. If the eurosceptics refuse to vote, this could be a great advantage for the pro-European parties. On the other hand, however, the analysts believe, they might succeed to mobilise their troops by hoping to punish national governments because of their bad economic performance. According to another think-tank, Open Europe, the eurosceptics may take 31% of the votes (up from 25% in 2009) which translates into 218 seats out of 751. The analysts from this think-tank believe that fears of invasion by anti-European parties (they do not call them eurosceptic) are overrated.
National democracy is already emptied of content
The main culprit for the current situation are the mainstream parties which seem not to be realising their responsibility nor the scale of the disaster. What they could do to prevent a landslide victory of the eurosceptics is to admit their mistakes and to offer an alternative. Something they are not doing, said in an interview with this website one of the authors of the ECFR brief - Jose Ignacio Torreblanca. Currently, the mainstream parties bet on certain in the race with each other by focusing the debate along the axis left-right, as euinside recently wrote. Mr Torreblanca explains this pointing out that they cannot talk about more or less Europe because they already have a "coalition government" in the European Commission which consists of sufficient number of Socialist commissioners, representatives of the EPP and the Liberals. The three largest groups in the European Parliament - Socialists and Democrats, EPP and ALDE - often vote together for more Europe. The only thing that distinguishes them clearly is the left-right ideology.
The problem is, though, the analyst believes, that the European project is clearly in danger. It should not be taken for granted because it is not a natural subject. If it is not taken care of, protected and encouraged it will not survive. Strong leadership is needed and more ideas to save it. The most important thing, however, is to be frank with citizens and to tell them that national democracies have been emptied and stripped of the most important traditional powers. That is why democracy and politics should be rethought at European level because national governments now look like zombies. They are like walking dead in the sense that they can no longer govern but they do not tell this to the people. The eurosceptics, on the contrary, are much clearer and blunt. They simply say that Europe is the problem and the national state is the solution. And although this is not true, according to Jose Ignacio Torreblanca, the message is very strong.
The solution is to build a true European democracy at European level because that no man's land we find ourselves in is most devastating for the pro-European forces and creates a feeding ground for the eurosceptics, the Spanish analyst concluded.
What impact will this have on the reforms debate in EU?
Jose Ignacio Torreblanca says the key lies with France because it is there that the eurosceptic forces (let's not forget that the ECFR puts them in the Xenophobic group) will be or already are the second largest political force in the country. So, the likelihood to seek deepening of the euro area integration to an extent that requires treaty change is very small because this would mean a referendum in France. It is unthinkable that the French government will face the voters at a referendum because it is certain that this will be an anti-government vote. It is most realistic to expect that a more subtle back-door integration will be sought, the head of the ECFR Madrid office said.
Open Europe, who are entirely dedicated on propagating a reform of the EU, believe that these elections will in fact produce a much more integrationist European Parliament. Two thirds or more of the European voters might not vote at all or vote explicitly against the status quo and deepening of the integration because of the lack of intermediate options. This is precisely why, the think-tank writes in its analysis on the issue, that the European elite should respond with broad reforms. If there is more focus on centralisation this will fuel even more anti-European votes.
The outcome for Bulgaria
The irony is that one of the status quo parties is strongly pro-European. This means that if GERB (EPP) succeeds to send at least as many MEPs as the heir of the communist party BSP (PES), as the opinion polls suggest, there are chances Bulgaria to stop its alienation from the European orbit. This, however, does not at all mean that reforms are coming to Bulgaria nor that its voice will become stronger on issues from the European agenda. Against the backdrop of the civilisational clash that is growing in the country, however, this is after all not a bad news.
The big question is what share of the electorate will like the reformers who have the most European platform and are the first political force in years to speak concretely on certain European issues. For now, the pollsters give them no more than 1-2 seats if any which is strongly dependent on voter turnout. There is another strongly pro-European party in the country - Blue Unity - but it is too small and has miserable chances to jump over the threshold after it left the reformers. Another big issue is whether Bulgaria will finally send, for the first time, a Green MEP. The chances for this are minor.
Last edited by Alex Linder; May 9th, 2014 at 08:59 AM.
|May 16th, 2014||#26|
How fascism returned to Europe
The European Union was created to bind the continent in peace and prosperity. But it has only fueled the rise of ultra-nationalist groups.
By Damon Linker
The most important read of the week hands down is historian Timothy Snyder's disquieting essay in The New Republic about the return of fascism in Europe.
When I first read the article, my instincts told me it must be irresponsibly alarmist. Stalin, Hitler, Ukrainian nationalism, Putin, German parties of the far left and right, "Eurasian" ideology, visions of a unified front against Western pluralist democracy stretching "from Lisbon to Vladivostok" — Snyder connects an awful lot of dots in 4,000 or so words, and to my ear it sounded faintly unhinged.
So I started talking to friends who pay close attention to trends and events on the continent. And I started reading beyond recent headlines about Crimea, sanctions, and unauthorized referendums. And now I'm not so sure. Snyder may well be onto something.
And if he is, we'd better start preparing ourselves for a frightening new era in world history.
There are two parts to Snyder's analysis. The first has to do with Russia. It's a petro-state with no products or other resources to sell. Oil and gas are all it's got. That makes it quick to respond — and respond rashly — when its markets are threatened, which they were when Ukraine's recent round of protests raised the prospect of Kiev turning decisively away from Moscow and toward the European Union. Faced with that possibility, Putin was all too willing to whip up, manipulate, and take advantage of the latent Russian nationalism in eastern and southern regions of Ukraine.
Would he do the same thing elsewhere? That will depend on whether he decides it's in his interest to do so (hence the importance of the West's punitive sanctions). It also depends on whether he can continue to find a receptive audience for his troublemaking. Putin will surely find such an audience in at least some of the former Soviet republics (like Moldova, for example) that line Russia's western and southwestern borders.
But the bigger and potentially far more destabilizing audience can be found further west, in the heart of the political and economic experiment devised to ensure the perpetual peace, stability, prosperity, and political moderation of the historically troubled continent: the European Union itself.
That's the second part of Snyder's argument, and it is chilling. From one end of the continent to the other, far-right political parties are winning larger shares of the vote than they have since the end of World War II — and many of them are explicitly looking to Putin as an inspiration and de facto leader of an anti-pluralist political movement.
In elections to the European Parliament on May 22-25, a number of these parties are projected to do extremely well. There's France's National Front (predicted to take 23.5 percent of the vote), the Dutch Freedom Party in the Netherlands (16.5 percent), Austria's Freedom Party (19.5 percent), and Greece's neo-Nazi Golden Dawn (7.4 percent).
Most ominous of all is Hungary's Jobbik Party, which recently won 20.7 percent of the vote in national elections (that was on top of the majority won by the center-right Fidesz party), and is projected to do even better in the upcoming EU elections. With links to paramilitary groups, a fondness for demonizing the country's Roma population, and an enthusiasm for organizing and inspiring allied far-right parties in Poland, Slovakia, Croatia, and Bulgaria, Jobbik is the real deal: a genuinely fascist movement with a solid electoral base and trans-national ambitions.
Tony Judt, the great historian of Europe who died in 2010, would have been deeply saddened by these developments, but he wouldn't have been surprised. In a prescient book published in 1996, Judt warned that the EU's very efforts to ensure that right-wing radicalism never returned to the continent could have the perverse effect of conjuring it back into existence.
Judt suggested that the EU was making economic promises to its member states — promises of unsustainably high rates of growth, employment, and spending on social benefits — that were almost certainly going to prove impossible to fulfill. When those promises were broken, it would inspire an angry populist backlash.
Then Europe would face the consequences of having dissolved national channels for the expression of political discontent — and having replaced them with distant, extra-national institutions with little democratic accountability and even less collective solidarity undergirding them. Those left behind by economic stagnation and collapse would feel politically muzzled and disenfranchised, leading them to become susceptible to manipulation by demagogues out to capture their imagination and allegiance with the very nationalist visions the EU was created to forestall.
If Snyder is right, that's precisely what's happening right now across the continent. The question is how far these nationalist parties will grow, how radical their aims will become — and, most menacing of all, how likely it is that Vladimir Putin will seek to rally, lead, and galvanize them into a unified Eurasian movement aimed squarely against the European Union, the United States, and the liberal pluralist order around the globe.
I'd say it's pretty improbable. Putin likely has aims that fall far short of world-historical crusades. Foremost among those more mundane goals is keeping Gazprom's profits up. To achieve that, he'll continue to meddle in Russia's near abroad. And he'll justify this meddling in quasi-fascist, hyper-nationalist terms that include portraying Russia as the foremost anti-fascist nation in the world.
All of this will make life in the region unpleasant and unstable. That's disconcerting, as is the prospect of far-right political parties winning close to a quarter of the vote in a long list of European countries.
But both scenarios are incalculably better than the horrifying prospect of a unified radical-right movement stretching from Portugal to the Pacific.
Damon Linker is a senior correspondent at TheWeek.com. He is also a consulting editor at the University of Pennsylvania Press, a contributing editor at The New Republic, and the author of The Theocons and The Religious Test.
|May 17th, 2014||#27|
Europhobes gain clout: Xenophobic, right-wing and anti-EU parties catch on as elections near
RennyMoko • 7 hours ago
I love how the biased media often add 'phobia' to every disagreement people have. Patriotism for one's own country and culture is not a phobia. If these patrotic people are Europhobes, then you are Britianphone, Francophobe, Germanphobe, you are phobic about individual countries in Europe. You are just freedomphobic. Your hold over people and your manipulation will one day be seen by the people.
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[32 upvotes and 0 downvotes. In which other industry are the suppliers completely against the views of the consumers?]
|May 19th, 2014||#28|
Anti-Europe Parties at Odds, Despite Shared Cause
By STEPHEN CASTLEMAY 19, 2014
LONDON — Geert Wilders, the leader of the populist Freedom Party in the Netherlands, told cheering supporters two months ago that he wanted fewer Moroccans in the country. One of his party’s most prominent and charismatic figures, Laurence Stassen, a former television reporter and a member of the European Parliament, promptly quit in protest.
But rather than give up her re-election bid, Ms. Stassen simply moved her campaign across the North Sea to Britain. Under the European Union’s rules, European citizens can generally run for the European Parliament from any member country, allowing her to seek a seat representing southeast England as a member of a small British party dedicated to the same cause that defined her politics at home: reining in the European Union and stopping further integration.
On one level, her move is evidence of the broad, cross-border appeal of populist, nationalistic messages after years of economic hardship across Europe and demands for budget austerity from its leaders.
But Ms. Stassen’s move has also helped expose deep fissures in the anti-establishment parties of Europe as they head into the final days of campaigning before elections at the end of the week. Ms. Stassen was able to distance herself from Mr. Wilders, among the most high-profile of the far-right leaders in Europe, and also avoided associating herself with Nigel Farage, the leader of the U.K. Independence Party, known as UKIP, which has built a substantial following in Britain with an anti-integration, anti-immigration message.
The infighting among the contending anti-Europe parties could dilute their collective strength if, as polls suggest, they make big gains in the European Parliament when the votes are tallied on Sunday.
Riding a tide of anti-establishment sentiment, politicians seeking to rein in Brussels could finish first in seven European Union countries, according to a report by the London School of Economics and Political Science. Rightist candidates could win in Belgium, Britain, Denmark, France, Finland and the Netherlands, while a leftist populist party may do the same in Greece, the report notes.
“We are going to see euro-skeptics selected from the right, the center, the left,” Mr. Farage predicted last month. “I don’t know what percentage, maybe 25 percent, maybe a little more. European politics will look very different after the results.”
There is little cohesion among the parties, which range from extreme-right groups like Greece’s Golden Dawn, to Germany’s more academic Alternative for Deutschland, which wants to abandon the euro, the alliance’s common currency. Some nationalist parties seem to dislike each other as much as they do the European Union.
Gawain Towler, a former spokesman for UKIP and now a candidate for the party in the elections, said that “on big ticket questions of whether there will be further European integration, votes will be aligned.” But he added: “Each patriotic party has their own reasons for being patriotic. A French patriot might not be madly keen on a British patriot so it is not surprising that there are differences of opinion.”
Under the rules of the European Parliament, political parties gain funding, speaking time and positions on powerful committees if they band together. To form a group, there must be at least 25 lawmakers from a minimum of seven European Union countries. Britain’s UKIP is in such a group — the Europe of Freedom and Democracy — but the Dutch Freedom Party and the French National Front, led by Marine Le Pen, are not.
The last time the most far-right parties tried to form a group together in the European Parliament, in 2007, it lasted a matter of months before collapsing amid recriminations.
Mr. Farage has ruled out working with Ms. Le Pen, saying that the views of some in her party are too extreme. “I keep saying no to her offer of marriage. I’m not interested,” he said last month. Ms. Le Pen has accused Mr. Farage of being dishonest.
Even between Mr. Wilder’s Freedom Party and the National Front in France, there are striking differences. Mr. Wilders, who is a staunch critic of Islam, is a strong supporter of Israel and of gay rights. Ms. Le Pen has sought to moderate her party’s image, but it still has many followers of her father, Jean-Marie Le Pen, the party’s founder, who once described the Nazi gas chambers as a “detail in the history” of World War II. Ms. Le Pen opposes gay marriage.
An influx of populists into the European Parliament could block legislation to liberalize the services sector in Europe and deepen integration in the euro zone, and derail a trans-Atlantic free trade agreement that is under negotiation.
Simon Hix, professor of European and comparative politics at the London School of Economics and Political Science, said the populist parties could generate pressure to curb the free movement of people across European borders. “It is not that this radical right group will have that much power, it’s more how parties on the center-right are going to respond to the emergence of this radical right,” he said.
But in Britain, even two parties with quite similar views are at odds, as Ms. Stassen’s candidacy shows. She did not seek to run for Mr. Farage’s party, instead opting for a smaller rival, An Independence From Europe, led by Mike Nattrass, a former European member of Parliament and a former member of UKIP. Mr. Nattrass has said that Mr. Farage “makes Machiavelli look like an amateur.” In an interview here, Ms. Stassen said, “Farage is a leader who is working top down; he’s in charge, he’s all about power.”
But in a recent speech, Ms. Stassen laid out many of the same arguments as Mr. Farage’s UKIP. By leaving the European Union, she said, countries could “once again determine their own budget and their own policies on trade and immigration.”
Ms. Stassen, who said that she has received abusive emails from some UKIP supporters accusing her of dividing the anti-Europe right, insists that she will fight for what she believes in.
“UKIP does not have the patent on being euro-skeptic,” she said.
|May 20th, 2014||#29|
Europe’s far-right softens image for elections
In this Wednesday, May 14, 2014 photo a supporter of far-right political party Golden Dawn wears a T-shirt reading ‘’Golden Dawn…We Are Coming’’ during a rally in Athens. Struggling to form alliances, Europe’s far-right is softening its image, as a wide variety of anti-establishment parties seek gains across a continent emerging from financial crisis.
By Associated Press, Updated: Tuesday, May 20, 6:51 AM
ATHENS, Greece — There were no intimidating guards at the door, or angry chants of “Blood, Honor, Golden Dawn,” as there have been in the past.
In fact, the guests looked more like members of a large wedding party than supporters of Europe’s most prominent extreme-right political group.
At a central Athens hotel, Golden Dawn presented candidates for this week’s European Parliament elections who would have looked out of place a few months ago: Lawyers, entrepreneurs, and university lecturers, the women seated at the front.
Struggling to form alliances, even the most extreme parts of Europe’s far right are softening their image, as a wide variety of anti-establishment parties seek gains across a continent emerging from financial crisis.
Golden Dawn’s leaders for decades expressed admiration for Adolf Hitler and their supporters staged regular protests in paramilitary-style outfits. The leaders are currently jailed on charges of running a criminal organization,
This week, though, campaign volunteers handed out helium-filled balloons to children, and candidates ran under the relatively tame slogan of “For a Europe of Nations, Not Banks.”
Campaigns elsewhere in Europe were also tempered.
In Hungary, Gabor Vona, leader of the far-right Jobbik party, previously described Jewish groups as “Israeli conquerors,” pledging that his country would not give into them even if “all of Europe licks their feet.”
Now, Jobbik has cut out his vitriolic rhetoric against Jews and Gypsies, and Vona is seen on party pamphlets cradling three puppies in his lap.
Far-right and ultra-nationalist parties are likely to win or regain representation in around a dozen of the European Union’s 28 members, with Austria’s Freedom Party likely to make a strong showing, along with France’s National Front, Jobbik and nationalists and anti-immigration parties in Latvia, Bulgaria, Denmark, the Netherlands and elsewhere.
Golden Dawn is polling around 8 percent in opinion surveys, and its candidate for mayor of Athens received 16 percent of the vote in weekend municipal elections.
Despite the success, cooperation with other nationalists in Europe could prove difficult.
France’s surprise poll leader, the National Front, has publicly distanced itself from Golden Dawn and Jobbik as it bids for the mainstream vote. And Geert Wilders, leader of the anti-immigration Dutch Freedom Party, also described Golden Dawn as “too extreme and militaristic” to allow an alliance.
Dutch researcher Cas Mudde argues the popular perception of a far-right ascendancy across Europe is mistaken.
“When you put it in a historical context, there isn’t actually that much change,” said Mudde, an assistant professor in the Department of International Affairs at the University of Georgia in the United States.
The far-right vote, he said, has receded in as many countries as it has gained over the past decade.
“Parties come and go. The Greater Romania party had been a been a major party through the 1990s and then completely disappeared,” he said, while British National Party leader Nick Griffin is unlikely to be re-elected to the European Parliament.
Far-right support rises and falls, Mudde argued, as issues like local corruption, immigration, and multiculturalism appear and fade from national debate.
The once-marginal Golden Dawn saw its support explode as financial crisis sank Greeks into poverty, and voters of traditionally dominant parties became disillusioned.
But economic hardship alone is a poor indicator, according to Greek political scientist Nikos Marantzidis.
“The rise of Golden Dawn has more political origins than financial. If you look at financially troubled Spain, Portugal and Ireland, they saw no rise of the ultra-right,” said Marantzidis, an associate professor at the University of Macedonia in northern Greece.
“There is always a nationalist backdrop in countries where far-right support has risen.”
State funding for Golden Dawn was axed this year after party leader Nikos Michaloliakos and other senior members were jailed during a judicial investigation into alleged links between the group and frequent attacks against immigrants and left-wing activists.
Lawyer Georgia Vardoulaki, a Golden Dawn candidate, maintains the charges were engineered by the government to stop her party’s rise in popularity, which reached double digits nationally in 2013 surveys.
“We are not Greek Nazis or Greek Fascists. We are Greek nationalists. ... We support nationalism and our race,” she said, adding that Golden Dawn hoped to be part of a nationalist voting bloc in the EU parliament.
“The European Union started off with the aim of being a family of nations and has morphed into a bloc of masters and slaves,” she said. “I think the elections will send a message to a Europe that is rotting and is losing its identity. One thing is certain: Our voice will be heard.”
|May 20th, 2014||#30|
[first things - a jew-subservient christian-neoconservative publication]
THE RISE OF NATIONALISM
by R. R. Reno
5 . 19 . 14
It’s a global phenomenon. Hindu nationalist Narendra Modi won in India. Shinzo Abe in Japan hits nationalist notes. Svoboda, an ultra-nationalist party in Ukraine, has become an important player. The Golden Dawn in Greece is another ultra-nationalist party. Great Britain’s anti-EU party is on the rise, as are nationalists in France and the Netherlands.
What’s going on? The answer is, I think, both complicated and simple. Each nation has its own political culture that influences the rise of nationalism. (For obvious reasons nationalism has a bad odor in Germany.) That’s the complicated part.
The simple answer is globalization. Our increasingly globalized economy and bureaucratic/NGO/academic culture means that elites throughout the world now have a place to stand outside their homelands. Their interests and loyalties are increasingly globalized. By my reading of the signs of the times, this shift in loyalty poses a threat to the nation state. Nationalism, therefore, is an intuitive populist reaction, one that seeks to recover that loyalty.
Take, for example, hedge fund managers in Connecticut. They’re managing money for Japanese pension funds, Brazilian sovereign wealth funds, Chinese banks, and more. They fly to all over the world and stay in the same hotel chains, eat at the same high end restaurants, and talk to their Asian, European, and South American counterparts in airline lounges and in business class.
Or take for example John Sexton, President of NYU. He’s very explicit: NYU should be a global brand. Ivy League schools today are also explicit. They want to train the global elite, not just the American elite.
And so, at some point the idea of an AMERICAN elite starts to make less sense. That’s not a judgment on their personal sentiments. Many of course remain deeply patriotic. But their outlooks, sensibilities, and interests start to correspond more with elites throughout the world than with folks in Peoria. (A recent Wall Street Journal article reported that large companies in small towns—Caterpillar is in Peoria—are having trouble attracting top talent, because hard charging elites don’t want to live too far from their own kind of people and they tend to congregate in the global cities like Los Angeles, Houston, Chicago, and New York . . . and London, Paris, Berlin, Hong Kong, etc.)
Mr. and Mrs. Ordinary citizen senses this shift. Thus populism and nationalism. Shouting “France for Frenchman” or “India for Hindus” has an us-against-them urgency. That can be very dark and dangerous indeed. But we’d be foolish to ignore the fact that it’s also a way of renewing the social contract, a way of demanding loyalty throughout society, from top to bottom, to the shared weal and woe of the national community.
I worry about the detachment of elites from ordinary citizens. (That’s a cultural analogue of income inequality.) I’m in favor of renewing their loyalty to the national projects of different countries rather than the fool’s gold of “global citizenship,” a bloodless abstraction that will largely serve as a license for self-interest gilded with philanthropy. But nationalism has proven to be a very, very dangerous way to achieve that goal.
|May 24th, 2014||#31|
Europe’s Right and Left on March to Populism
By JIM YARDLEYMAY 23, 2014
ROME — For weeks, Beppe Grillo, the Italian political insurgent, has crisscrossed the nation in what might be called his vitriol tour. He has let loose zesty, bellowing insults against journalists, businessmen, Italian politicians and Angela Merkel, the German chancellor and avatar of European austerity. He has even taken a swipe at Dudu, the fluffy white poodle belonging to former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi.
“I come across as a guy who yells,” Mr. Grillo admitted recently on a television talk show, “Porta a Porta.” “It’s true. I am angry and sometimes I exaggerate, but it’s an anger that has united the dreams of 10 million Italians.”
Or so Mr. Grillo hopes. With voting for the European Parliament to conclude on Sunday, the elections will provide the best indicator yet of the depth of disillusionment and anger in southern Europe. The belt of Mediterranean countries has borne the worst of the five-year economic crisis and churned with seething resentment and outright fury over the austerity policies imposed by the elites perceived as running Europe.
People lined up to receive free merchandise at a market in Athens.
For months, media attention has primarily focused on far-right, euro-skeptic parties making gains in northern Europe, including the National Front in France and the United Kingdom Independence Party, which showed strongly in local elections Friday and now seems poised to shake up the politics of Britain.
Even so, the stakes are arguably higher in the south. Especially in Italy and Greece, poor showings by the governing parties could increase pressure for early national elections, and make it more difficult for the fragile coalition governments to carry through on political and economic reforms. This type of instability worries European leaders and could also rattle financial markets.
“We are exporting instability,” cautioned a political commentator, Antonio Polito, in a front-page editorial this week in Corriere della Sera, a leading Italian newspaper. “What is abnormal — because it does not happen elsewhere — is that such a result might blow up the entire, very fragile balance upon which acrobats like the government and Parliament are hanging on.”
Europe’s parliamentary elections are still a relative novelty, with a low turnout expected, which is why many analysts warn that voters might use the races to send a protest message that they have had enough.
In Italy and Greece, voters have a pick of choices to express their anger: from the left, there is Syriza in Greece; from the right, there is the neo-fascist Golden Dawn in Greece or the anti-immigrant Northern League in Italy; and there is the pox-on-all-their houses ethos of Mr. Grillo, an anti-establishment wrecking ball.
In Spain, the two dominant parties, the Popular Party and the Socialists, are expected to lose seats to smaller parties, some with anti-Europe positions but most to the political left of the Socialists.
“There is no one populism in Europe,” said Brigid Laffan, an expert on European politics at the European University Institute. “Populism and the neo-right predated the crisis. But the crisis gave a new opening.”
At a “State of the Union” conference this month in Florence, European leaders convened to discuss the coming elections and the recurrent theme of voter anger. In a midday speech, Prime Minister Matteo Renzi of Italy warned that only a few years ago, during the height of the financial crisis, Italy’s problems centered on lending rates — known as “the spread.” Now, he said, the problem was the spread of angry, political populism.
Mario Monti, the professorial technocrat who served as Italy’s prime minister at the height of the crisis, said Mr. Grillo’s rise had also pushed mainstream, center-right parties such as Mr. Berlusconi’s Forza Italia and the New Center Right to become more anti-Europe, anti-Germany and anti-European Central Bank.
He said that nationalist parties in northern Europe wanted to reclaim sovereignty from Brussels, but Mr. Grillo wanted to destroy the status quo.
“Grillo’s movement came up essentially as a challenge to the establishment, to traditional politicians and political parties,” Mr. Monti said. “The real enemy for him is the politician.”
Supporters of the Golden Dawn Party at a rally.
Mr. Grillo’s political organization, the Five Star Movement, unexpectedly finished a strong third in last year’s inconclusive national elections, with 25 percent of the total vote. His momentum then seemed to stall as lawmakers from his party began to bicker, with some complaining that Mr. Grillo was acting like an autocrat.
The infighting also coincided with the emergence of the charismatic Mr. Renzi, who wrested control of his Democratic Party and became prime minister in February on promises of sweeping reforms.
But now Mr. Grillo is reinvigorated, traveling the country and posting tirades on his blog. The most recent polls have shown the Democratic Party with a lead, but Mr. Grillo has been drawing large crowds as he vows to finish first, gleefully lashing out at the establishment and promoting a vaguely defined system of direct representation through online referendums. Those, he says, will also allow voters to punish what he calls the three “destroyers:” journalists, industrialists and politicians.
“This horrendous trio has to be judged via a popular media trial that will start after the European elections,” he wrote on his blog. “It’ll take place on the Internet, where there’ll be a reconstruction of a virtual castle, with prison cells.”
A surge by the Five Star Movement could undermine Mr. Renzi, who is trying to push an economic and electoral reform package through Italy’s Parliament as European officials are increasing pressure on the government to move faster to reduce the country’s massive public debt and reduce its fiscal deficit.
In Greece, Prime Minister Antonis Samaras is trying to rally support for his coalition government, arguing that a victory by the left-wing Syriza, which is narrowly leading in polls, could threaten the country’s slightly improving economy — a charge Syriza dismisses as a desperate scare tactic. He has stepped up his attacks in recent days, even as Syriza’s leader, Alexis Tsipras, has continued to challenge the terms of the financial bailout that saved Greece from bankruptcy but inflicted punishing austerity.
Two years ago, Mr. Samaras’s New Democracy pulled out a slim victory in national elections, as the rest of Europe was fraught with concern that a Syriza victory might threaten the stability of the euro.
Now, Mr. Samaras must contend with Syriza on the left as well as Golden Dawn on the far right. Last year, the government declared Golden Dawn a criminal organization, not a political party, and arrested several party leaders, including some elected officials.
The party’s electoral status was unclear until this month, when Greece’s Supreme Court ruled that Golden Dawn could participate in the European elections. Now many analysts predict that the party could finish third, or better. At a rally this month, about 300 flag-waving supporters gathered in an outdoor basketball court in a leafy, middle-class neighborhood of Athens. Golden Dawn’s local candidates stood together on a platform — mostly heavily muscled men with close haircuts, wearing black shirts and pants.
“Positive, extremely positive,” answered Ilias Panagiotaros, a Golden Dawn leader watching the rally, when asked about his party’s electoral prospects. “We are going for second place, if not first.”
“Two years ago, we had a debt that was 129 percent of gross domestic product,” he added. “We were dying. That’s what they were saying. Now we have a debt that is 170 percent of G.D.P. And they say we are going well. That is unexplainable.”
He relished the thought of not only destabilizing Greek politics but sending his party’s candidates to Brussels.
“For the first time, the next European Parliament will have something different to deal with,” he predicted. “There will be 10 or 15 nationalist parties, plus euro-skeptic parties. And they will change the agenda.”
|May 24th, 2014||#32|
typical whining. everything is about the 'undocumented immigrant' which for some crazy reason isn't welcomed by hateful, extremist, racist europe
|May 24th, 2014||#33|
8 ridiculous, racist things actually said by far-right EU politicians
BY ISHAAN THAROOR
Voting for a new European parliament draws to a close this Sunday. The buildup to the elections has been dominated by one narrative: the seeming ascendance of a slew of far-right, Euroskeptic parties across the continent. The European fringe has jolted its stodgy mainstream, as my colleague Griffe Witte writes here. The offensive and, at times, racist comments made by some of these party leaders and ranking politicians have certainly added to their notoriety. Here are some recent disgraceful examples:
--"Monseigneur Ebola could sort that out in three months," Jean Marie Le Pen, founder of the French far-right National Front party, suggesting this month that the deadly Ebola virus could deal with a growing global population -- and, therefore, Europe's supposed immigration problem. His daughter and current National Front leader, Marine Le Pen, has tried to move away from her father's overt extremism and had to scramble awkwardly to dampen reaction to his latest comments.
--"Do you want more or less Moroccans in this city and this country?" [chants of "Less! Less!"] "We'll arrange for that."--Geert Wilders, well-coiffed leader of the Netherlands' Freedom Party, a far-right Islamophobic group, addressing a group of supporters at a rally in March. Revulsion at these menacing remarks hurt Wilders, whose party appears to have performed worse than expected in the polls.
--“And how we can possibly be giving a billion pounds a month, when we are in this sort of debt, to Bongo Bongo Land is completely beyond me,” Godfrey Bloom, a member of the European Parliament (MEP) from the U.K. Independence Party, complaining about Britain's foreign aid commitments last year. The backlash against his comments eventually led to his resignation from UKIP.
--"The scriptures make it abundantly clear that a Christian nation that abandons its faith and acts contrary to the Gospel (and in naked breach of a coronation oath) will be beset by natural disasters such as storms, disease, pestilence and war," David Silvester, UKIP councilor, writing in a letter to his town's newspaper that floods that ravaged parts of the U.K. in early January were the consequence of the country's acceptance of gay marriage.
--"This is the government of Bonga Bonga," Mario Borghezio, Italian MEP from the Lega Nord, a right-wing, anti-immigrant party, decrying the appointment of a minister of Congolese descent to the Italian Cabinet last year. "Africa hasn't produced great geniuses as anyone can see from a Mickey Mouse encyclopaedia," he added. Criticism of these remarks forced Borghezio out of his particular far-right bloc in the European Parliament.
--"What will happen to Europe, a conglomerate of negroes, total chaos," Andreas Molzer, a prominent MEP from Austria's far-right Freedom Party, warning against immigration in an interview with a German newspaper in March. Outrage over the statement compelled Molzer to pull out of his electoral race. His party leader, Hans-Christian Strache, says he himself is not a racist because he "eats kebabs."
--"At least hands that greet like this did not steal," Nikolaos Michaloliakos, leader of Greece's far-right Golden Dawn, defending the penchant of some of his xenophobic party members to make Nazi salutes. Michaloliakos happens to be in jail right now on charges of being involved in a criminal organization, but his party may win seats in Brussels.
--"[It is] timely to tally up people of Jewish ancestry who live here, especially in the Hungarian Parliament and the Hungarian government, who, indeed, pose a national security risk to Hungary," Marton Gyongyosi, a senior leader of Jobbik, a far-right Hungarian party with fascist origins, calling for a tally of Jews in the country in 2012. Jobbik, whose members have also violently targeted Hungary's Roma minority, is currently the country's third most powerful political party.
Ishaan Tharoor writes about foreign affairs for The Washington Post. He previously was a Senior Editor at TIME, based first in Hong Kong and later in New York. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook. You can subscribe to our newsletter here.
|May 26th, 2014||#36|
Join Date: Oct 2013
Isn't Slovakia the country with the largest nationalist organization in Europe, besides Greece? Greece's Golden Dawn seems to be really successful, with about 7% of its population registered as GD members, from what I read.
Pro-diversity guy. I believe that if a person wants to live in a society with people like them, then that is fine if that is what they desire. However diverse and multiracial states should exist for those like me to want to live in and thrive.