“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.”
A limited Tea Party movement could in fact have the impact needed to bring down the Euro enterprise, but it’s far from being a reality. Europeans basically have nothing to point to in the way of showing the public just how far their own member countries gone towards real tyranny at the behest of the EU. In the US they have the US Constitution, the single most important political document ever written by the hand of man, in Europe, there are varying degrees of something similar, but not quite like it, the UK has no written constitution at all.
That said, a pan-European movement showing discontent over the devaluation of domestic parliamentary power and control to a faceless tyrannical Brussels, could very well be the axe laid to the root of the EU tree. At least, it’s worth a shot. KGS
Rise of Populist Parties Pushes Europe to the Right
It is the morning after an election that brought what the papers have called a “revolution” to Finland. Almost one in five voters voted for Soini’s party on Sunday, April 17, and now it looks like it is about to become part of the new government. A political earthquake is happening in Helsinki, one that could have reverberations throughout Europe.
Until now, the small country in the far northeastern corner of the continent was seen as a model member of the European Union. It was known for its successful export-oriented companies, liberal social policies and the best-performing school students in the Western industrialized world. 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 election result from Europe’s far north has alarmed the political establishment in Brussels. If Soini’s party becomes part of the new government, there will be more at stake than Helsinki’s traditional pro-European stance. 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. Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt calls the Finnish election results a “reason for concern,” while Hans-Dietrich Genscher, the former head of Germany’s pro-business Free Democratic Party (FDP) and former German foreign minister, warns: “The outcome of the elections is a warning sign.”
Gaining Ground Across the EU
As a wave of skepticism about Europe sweeps across the continent, the political elites in the continent’s capitals are reacting precipitously and inconsistently. To neutralize the populist movements and score political points at home, European leaders are seeking conflict with one another, arguing about such issues as accepting North African refugees or participation in the Libya mission. Markus Ferber, a member of the European Parliament for Germany’s conservative Christian Social Union (CSU), warns that solidarity among European countries is waning, a situation he calls “extremely dangerous.”