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On the Sidelines of the European Elections

On the Sidelines of the European Elections

Wednesday, 29 May, 2019 - 08:45
It is easy to enumerate the messages and blows of the European elections: The populist right, especially in Italy, France and Britain, made remarkable progress, but did not achieve what it wanted. The alarm became louder, but the conditions to avoid the tragedy are still available, even though they required activation and capable leaders.
 
This confirms that moderate parties and the traditional right and left are heading towards decline, while the European Union is more than ever required to reinvent itself in a less bureaucratic, more attractive way.
 
Cooperation between supporters of Europe in the new parliament has become a compelling issue. Repelling populist influence is a top priority, but social responsiveness remains the necessary condition to counter that influence. This priority trivializes the Franco-German dispute on the European commission president.
 
The high turnout, even if the populist rise was one of its causes, emphasized that democracy was still working and that Europe was still a key matter in the Europeans’ lives.

For the green parties, the European elections confirmed that cross-border issues, which cannot be dealt with nationally, occupy a prominent position in consciousness and behavior.
 
When the young generation is the main supporter of the Greens, this indicates a promising future. Here lies one of the foundations upon which to build a force against the nationalists.
 
But it is fine to go back a little to what we might call the populist deception strategy. Three years ago, Brexit looked fertile like cats in the winter: it was the only alternative to Europe. For France, there will be a “Frexit”, and for Italy an “Italexit”, for Deutschland, a “Dexit”, and for the Netherlands, a “Nexit”…  These are not kids’ game names. These are ways of breaking Europe and making proposals that have the hearts of millions: Europeans, who do not want to be Europeans, who are driven by globalization, besieged by neoliberalism and terrorized by migration.
 
But the selfishness of the political elites has isolated them from elites and from politics. Their suffering was in large part true, but it was uttered by a false tongue. Their populist leaders told them that they were against the corruption of the elite. This is a lie. The most recent and most serious incident was that of a populist leader: Heinz Christian-Starche of the Austrian Fascist Freedom Party.
 
Populist leaders also told their supporters they were nationalist and sovereign. This is also a lie. Besides Strache, who is involved with the Russians, Marine Le Pen received two loans from Russian banks worth 11 million euros in support of her electoral campaign.

Investigations are ongoing into the possible Russian involvement with the electoral campaign of Britain’s Nigel Farage, during the referendum. On the other hand, the Hungarian leader, Viktor Orban, is now described as “the man of Donald Trump” in Europe.
 
But the lie of all lies had the shortest life: Brexit itself - the fertile cat - went floundering in its own blood. The resignation of Theresa May, after failed rescue attempts, highlighted the dilemma. Whoever succeeds her as prime minister, will inherit her struggle.

If she is replaced by Boris Johnson, dire consequences will follow, notably: the “business”, which uses Britain as a route to European markets for both exports and imports, will be affected; many job opportunities will be eroded; investments will be directed to other countries; the sterling will weaken and inflation will rise, reducing the standard of living.
 
The plight of Brexit represented the clash of ideology with reality: those who imagined that they knew the whole truth away from experimentation and comparison, later found their reality shamefully attacked by their ideas. They thought that the ideology of Brexit would open for them the door to the future, in the name of a legendary English past. But they realized that both the present and the future were now shut.
 
Britain’s populist supporters preferred to be cured by the disease itself. This is why they voted for the Brexit party. But those who wanted to import "treatment" from London were hurt. Their strategy changed: they were hosted in Milan by the captain and Italian Interior Minister Matteo Salvini, who celebrated their plan to change Europe from within and to make the continent both "authentic" and "new".
 
They sought to become the third powerful bloc through the European parliament elections, knowing that they disagree on many issues that prevent them from becoming a bloc: Russia, the quotas of immigrants and refugees, the economic policies and other…
 
However, Europe and its values, which should be strengthened, are what they seek to weaken. What is more dangerous is undermining the role of federal institutions, with imperial tendencies to maximize the strength of Trump’s America, Putin’s Russia and Xi Jinping’s China.
 
The scandals of Strache, Le Pen, Farage and others did not weaken their resolve and did not make them change their minds.

Europe’s glory shall not be offered to such people.

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