The popularity of the far-right parties has been constantly increasing this year, is Europe becoming fascist?
Marine Le Pen, head of France's National Front, greets Geert Wilders, president of the Netherlands’s Party for Freedom in Lyon, France, on November 29, 2014.
Source: The Atlantic, found on: http://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2016/11/trump-far-right-europe/50731
Europe and the world in general have been going through a period of many changes, surprises, shocks and movements. Starting with the horrific attacks in Paris and Belgium, continuing with the coup in Turkey, the migrant crisis in Europe and Brexit in the United Kingdom and for the moment finishing by the results of the US election going in favour of Donald Trump, Europe is facing a time of “difficulties”.
The above-named facts have eased and empowered the proliferation of the far-right and extremist political parties in Europe. These political movements have been gaining a significant popularity in countless countries across Europe. Eurosceptic, nationalist or even anti-establishment subjects implemented in European politics have been most lately cheered by the victory of an American businessman, republican and billionaire Donald Trump in the US presidential elections.
The support and the rise of hope in the far-right in Europe have been both enabled mainly by the fact that Trump’s campaign was based on several strong anti-migrant ant anti-multiculturalist ideas and projects.
As it was in the case of Brexit and the United Kingdom, even now the far-right parties have not forgotten to congratulate Donald Trump and express their enthusiasm over the results.
Marine Le Pen, a president of a French right populist party called National Front (FN)was the first European person to have congratulated Donald Trump for his spectacular achievement in the elections. In fact, she felicitated Trump even before the official publication of the results. “Congratulations to the new president of the US Donald Trump and to American people, free! MLP” she wrote on her account Twitter. “The victory of Donald Trump is without question a next step to a new world which will replace the old order. This victory is comparable with a French refusal of the European Constitution and the British decision to leave the European Union, these all elections are basically referendums against rapid globalization, which has been imposed upon nations and that has shown its limits today.” she claimed shortly after the end of the US elections.
She also added that “Trump has made possible what had been alleged to be absolutely impossible. It’s above all about a victory of the people against the elites. I wish that also in France the voters were able to turn the table at which the elites are sharing what should be given to people”. She will most probably face a member of the traditional right party Allan Juppé in the second round of the French presidential elections. The politician might achieve a surprising result also thanks to the situation in which the world and Europe find themselves nowadays.
Norbert Hofer, a presidential far-right candidate in Austria, is assumed to have significant chances to become a new president of Austria. Same as in France, also in Austria, the far-right party was the only one to have celebrated the victory of Donald Trump.
Parties and mainstream medias were “humiliated” for their support of Hillary Clinton, claimed Hanz-Christian Strache, the president of the Freedom Party(FPO) in Austria.
Brexit, migrant crisis and the results of American presidential elections have rapidly increased the probability that Norbert Hofer could win the Austrian presidential elections and thus get Austrian far-right party and ideas to power.
Geert Wilders, a Dutch politician which has referred to the Trump’s victory as to a start of new “Patriotic Spring”. Knowing for his anti-Islam ideas and statements (such as comparing Koran to Main Kampf) he has been delighted by the results of the US elections. Straight after the announcement of the new American president Geert Wilders has alleged the following “A historic victory! A revolution! We too will give our country back to the Dutch”.
He compares the current period to the Arab Spring where the world was a witness of mass anti-governmental protests in North Africa and the Middle-East leading to removal of several political leaders.
As well in Germany there is an “uprising” of extreme political ideas which stream mainly from the Alternative for Germany (AfD), an anti-EU populist party represented by Freuke Petry. Ms Petry is “famous” for her statements that can almost be identified as fascist. She compares multi-culturalism to a “compost heap” and believes that border police should “use firearms” against refugees if necessary. The politician has become among other things known for opposing Islam and claiming that this religion “is not a part of Germany”.
The AfD is the main element opposing Angela Merkel and her party in Germany. As it is the case in many European countries the far-right German political group becomes more and more popular.
A little bit different case is the one of Andrej Babis, a Czech politician and previous Finance Minister, entrepreneur and businessman born in Slovakia.
He founded his political party ANO in the Czech Republic in order to “fight corruption and other ills in the country's political system” however several analysis have proved that he was the main cause of a decrease in the democracy of the Czech Republic. The billionaire of Slovak origin is alleged to use his budget in order to promote his own political interest. He owns the greatest agricultural company in the Czech Republic and a popular media house.
“He now concentrates political, economic and media power to the extent that has been unprecedented in this country since 1989. He is at permanent risk of conflict of interest” said Czech Prime Minister Vladimir Sobotka.
It is Babis that is assumed to take Sobotka’s place in the near future as many polls and media explain. The party ANO is popular in the country which resulted in its victory in regional elections in October. Being extremely rich (the second richest man in the Czech Republic) and powerful, Babis is compared with Donal Trump by international media and is called “Czech Donald Trump”.
Babis was joking by saying that Trump was copying him when deciding to make his path to the political sphere of the US. He said that “The people of the United States have evidently appreciated his plans to build a wall at the Mexican borders, his migration policy and tax reforms. He must have persuaded them by his clear words”.
Europe is in the period of uncertainty and changes. The plans of the European Union are getting much more difficult by the reasons of the increase in the popularity of far-right ideologies which have been empowered by the migrant crisis, Brexit, terrorist attacks and the victory of Donald Trump. It is currently impossible to predict the future of the old continent. Instead of being unified, Europe finds itself in a period of clash.
Will far-right ideologies take over? Is Europe going to change? Will we become witnesses of another surprise? Those are the questions many of us ask, yet the answers lie somewhere in the near future. May time show us…
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