By the Right - The European Right gathers momentum

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By the Right - The European Right gathers momentum
« on: October 25, 2017, 11:05:50 AM »
By the Right - The European Right gathers momentum

---Several articles below on the subject above.   Pick and Choose.
 
BTW, I do wish that the word 'populist' were recognised as meaning 'democratic', the will of ordinary people.   See the Oxford Dictionary explanation below.   If a person is not in favour of populism, it means that they must be in favour of authoritarianism.   Or dictatorship.
 
popu|list1
/ˈpɒpjʊlɪst/ 
noun
a member or adherent of a political party seeking to represent the interests of ordinary people.
 
 
Sonya
 
Telegraph 
Far-Right Czech election ‘kingmaker’ calls for referendum on EU membership ‘just like Britain’



 
59
An election campaign poster for the Freedom and Direct Democracy (SPD) party CREDIT: REUTERS
 
 Matthew Day, warsaw 
19 OCTOBER 2017 • 6:59PM
The Czech Republic should follow Britain’s example and hold a referendum over it’s EU membership, the leader of a Czech far-right party which could become kingmaker in this weekend's general election has told The Telegraph.
Tomio Okamura, the leader of Freedom and Direct Democracy Party (SPD) made the call on the eve of the country's general election as his party experiences a  surge in popularity in the polls.
The party, now heading heading for around 10 per cent of the vote could form part of a coalition government coalition government, and try to push its hard-line anti-EU and anti-immigration policies into the political mainstream.
"We want to leave just like Britain and we want a referendum on EU membership," Mr Okamura said in an interview with The Telegraph.

Tomio Okamura's party is heading for 10 per cent of the vote 
“Over the last couple of years the EU has shown itself to be un-reformable.
“The elites are incapable of showing the flexibility needed to react to current and crucial problems such as terrorism and the migration of Muslim-African colonisers to Europe.”
Czechs vote Friday and Saturday in an election that is predicted to unseat the current three-party coalition government led by Bohuslav Sobotka, the prime minister from the centre-left Social Democrats.
Mr Okamura, a half-Japanese politician whose fiery rhetoric has  led to accusations of racism, has become increasingly popular amongst Czechs disaffected with globalisation and EU membership, adding to a sense of upheaval sweeping through Czech politics.
 
Most opinion polls point to the centre-right Ano party, led by billionaire business man Andrej Babis, as the clear favourite to emerge as the largest party, but without a governing majority.

A poster depicting the leader of ANO party Andrej Babis hangs on a bus stop near the town of Benesov.  The placard reads: "This is not Babis' land" CREDIT: REUTERS
Regarded as a populist, a strong euro-sceptic and, at least to some of his most fervent critics, as a dangerous cross between Donald Trump and Silvio Berlusconi, Mr Babis could move the Czech Republic away from mainstream European politics and align it with the populist right-wing governments of Hungary and Poland.
But lacking the support to win a majority Ano may well have to form a coalition with two or three parties, and if Mr Okamura’s SPD gets over 9 per cent, political analysts say, it will be impossible for Mr Babis to ignore it.
Otilia Dhand, a Central and European analyst at Teneo Intelligence, a political risk analyst firm, says the Ano leader may be loath to work with Mr Okamura but he could struggle to shed his influence.
“We have seen the fringe parties pulling the mainstream to the fringe, and we have seen that happening across Central and Eastern Europe,” she told The Telegraph. “He could be that populist voice the mainstream parties have to pay attention to.”

Telegraph 
Anti-establishment billionaire leads race to become Czech prime minister
 
 Tim Gosling, prague 
14 OCTOBER 2017 • 6:31PM
The EU must recognise the forces that drove Brexit and reform accordingly, the billionaire frontrunner to become the next Czech prime minister says.
Andrej Babiš, leader of the “anti-establishment” ANO party, told The Daily Telegraph that the EU is chasing the wrong priorities as it eyes deeper integration. 
“I’m not a Eurosceptic,” the Czech Republic’s second richest man said during a campaign stop in Nachod - a small town on the Polish border, ahead of elections on Oct 20-21. 
“Europe is a great project,” stressed Mr Babiš in an interview following a 10-hour stint of handshakes and book signings. “But European politicians should seriously ask why the UK is leaving. They are dealing with the wrong issues in pursuing further integration.”
Pragmatic but unpredictable, Mr Babiš is often compared to Donald Trump due to his wealth, populist agenda, and Teflon-like ability to brush off financial scandals and coarse outbursts. 
And like Mr Trump, his views on integration, immigration and Russia have left many in Europe eyeing his poll lead with nervousness.  His political vision has won him considerable support amongst an electorate hugely disappointed that their standard of living still trails their German neighbours 13 years after accession to the EU, and spooked by the migrant crisis - even if only a dozen refugees have taken up residence in the country.
 
Those gripes have only been aggravated by efforts from Paris, Brussels and Berlin to push the project of EU integration forwards once the UK leaves the bloc, he warned.
“We must institute reform to deal with the problems surrounding security, immigration and the four freedoms: the free movement of goods, capital, services, and labour,” he said. Mr Babiš insists he won’t seek a Czexit if he becomes prime minister. But then, he doesn't have much choice. 
Exports to the EU account for close to 70 percent of Czech GDP and cohesion funding, which amounts to about €15 billion under the EU’s 2014-20 budget, is another major contributor. 
Just as important to Mr Babiš, claim critics, is that his agrochemicals giant Agrofert receives large EU subsidies and controls companies across the bloc. ANO, a centrist and populist party he founded in 2011, is running an election campaign centred on the billionaire’s simplistic promise to run the country like his business, the Czech Republic’s largest private employer. 
It is also calling for the EU to close its borders and establish migrant camps overseas. Along with a pledge to destroy the “corrupt system” that has taken root in the Czech Republic since communism fell in 1989, those policies have helped him attract the support of about 30 per cent of the electorate, polls show. Most of those are older voters and from outside the urban centres. 
 
But critics say Mr Babiš is an autocrat who will damage democracy and is in no position to campaign on an anti-corruption platform.  Police recently laid fraud charges against him over a €2 million EU subsidy to a hotel development. Mainstream parties have said they won’t form a coalition under a prime minister facing criminal indictment, though it is unclear if they will stand by that commitment if he wins the election. 
Polls show the ruling party struggling to keep up with ANO’s slick election campaign, despite moving to the right in an effort to outflank Mr Babiš on immigration.  The CSSD practically forced the EU to impose an infringement procedure against the Czech Republic in summer, as it announced it would no longer take part in the bloc’s migrant quota scheme. The country has accepted just 12 of the 2,691 refugees it has been assigned.
Mr Babiš is ready to push even further, however, and has backed president Zeman’s controversial call to cooperate with Russia in addressing the migrant crisis. Those views have left many in Brussels eyeing his poll lead with apprehension.  “I don’t care about Russia,” he erupts when asked about his views on the Kremlin.
“I’m a Czech politician. I care about Czech people. For them we must reform the EU and stop illegal immigration. We have these sanctions against Russia, but what is the result?”
 
The EU and Nato must make finding a solution a priority over extending a confrontation with Russia that shows little sign of resolution, he says. “Times have changed since Nato was formed,” he continues.
“We have other enemies than Russia. We have to fight the human traffickers in the Mediterranean. Twenty thousand have died in that sea. We have terrorism blighting Europe. What are we waiting for?” Mr Babiš insisted that there are no genuine refugees arriving in Europe. 
He also condemned the EU for pressuring the conservative and populist PiS government in neighbouring Poland over its democratic credentials while remaining largely silent on Turkey. President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has recently overseen mass arrests, but abides by a 2016 deal to help stem the number of migrants arriving in Europe. That’s not realpolitik but “hypocrisy,” Mr Babiš said.
“I’ll tell [French president] Macron how to deal with illegal immigration and terrorism.” “We need to deal with Syria and Libya,” he continues. “We need a Marshall Plan for Syria, and for that we need to bring Trump, Putin and Erdoğan to the table. That’s the priority now. “Or we can continue to tell Putin he must leave Crimea, and then wait a hundred years.”



How the rise of the populist far-Right has swept through Europe in 2017



 

 
 Ashley Kirk 
24 OCTOBER 2017 • 8:22AM
This was supposed to be the year of the far-Right. Building on the anti-establishment, populist earthquakes of Brexit and Donald Trump, elections in France, the Netherlands and Germany were set to continue the upheaval of the political order.
Last week, Austria took a turn to the right, with the conservative People's Party (ÖVP) emerging as the winner and the nationalist Freedom Party (FPÖ) set to be kingmaker. This weekend, Europe's latest election saw the far-right SPD claim over 10 per cent of the vote in the Czech Republic.
The rise of anti-establishment parties is inevitable
Márton Gyöngyösi, Jobbik, Hungary
Seizing on Euroscepticism and anti-immigration sentiment in the face of the refugee crisis, populist Right-wing parties have managed to attract voters from across the political spectrum.
But as the year now comes to the end, it's clear that while these parties have gained lots of voters, they haven't gained enough to win power.
ADVERTISING
 
 
Angela Merkel is still in charge in Germany, France backed a centrist candidate over Marine Le Pen in the end, and the much-hyped Gerrt Wilders only made modest gains in the Netherlands.
But even if Le Pen's prediction that 2017 "will be the year of the continental peoples rising up" didn't quite come true, it's undeniable that the political landscape has shifted.
 
James Shields, Professor of French Politics at Aston University, said that "this string of imposing results shows how far populist far-Right parties in Western Europe have come since being an electoral irrelevance throughout the entire post-war period until the 1990s.
"These parties have mostly failed to make the breakthrough to national power, but the fact that they are now viewed as contenders for power is itself a measure of their real success."
"The rise of anti-establishment parties is inevitable", the deputy leader of Hungary's far-right Jobbik, Márton Gyöngyösi, told The Telegraph. "Unless", he added, "the elites find a solution to rising concerns over unemployment, migration and terrorism."
The National Front's issues mask Le Pen's success
The chart above shows that, in France's legislative elections, the Front National actually went backwards on its 2013 vote share.
But this is only part of the story in France, a country that saw a far-Right candidate reach the run-off in the presidential elections. This was on a campaign of abandoning the euro, reinstating control of France's borders and curbing immigration.
After a successful move to "detoxify" the Front National brand, Marine Le Pen was able to achieve second place in the first round of the presidential election, with 21.3 per cent of the vote - just three percentage points lower than Emmanuel Macron, the eventual winner of the election.
 
Macron beat her more decisively in the second round run-off, with a coalition of two thirds of French voters. But Joan Hoey, the Economist Intelligence Unit's Europe Director, warned that the fact that a third of French people voted for Le Pen should not be overlooked. 
 
"The disappointing result for the Front National (FN) in France was taken as proof that populism had run its course. This is a mistaken view.
"The persistence of popular disaffection with the status quo was very much evident in the presidential and parliamentary elections in France, where anti-establishment parties attracted more support than La République En Marche (LRM), the party of President Emmanuel Macron, and high abstention rates indicated widespread dissatisfaction with all parties."
Germany's populist Alternative also performed well
Similar tremors have been felt in Germany. Far from getting 4.7 per cent in the 2013 legislative election, the Alternative for Deutschland (AfD) came in third place this year with 12.6 per cent of the vote.
The nationalist, populist party seized onto a backlash against Merkel's refugee policy in order to make gains across the country - particularly in former East Germany. It started to promote slogans such as "Islam is not a part of Germany" at its spring conference.
According to exit polls, it was the issues of migration and refugees that drove people to vote for the AfD, with many indicating it was a protest vote. 
With more than 90 seats, the party's ascendancy marks the first time a far-Right party has has sat in the Bundestag since 1961.
 
Even if they don't win, the impact on politics is clear
The threat from populist nationalists in Europe is clear to see, even if none of the parties actually claimed power in Europe's major countries. 
 
In the Netherlands, Prime Minister Mark Rutte ramped-up his anti-immigration stance when some opinion polls put Geert Wilders' PVV in the lead for the March 15 General Election.
The nationalist, anti-Islam PVV secured second place in the actual election, with 13.1 per cent of the vote. Even though Rutte's VVD party came top with 21.3 per cent and has since formed a coalition government, Wilders' influence is undeniable.
The result being that the whole political discussion has moved to the right, and the 20-MP PVV party has a lot of sway in a Parliament where the Government has a majority of two.
 
 
They can continue to put pressure on moderate parties to radicalise their platforms – and there lies the ultimate ambition of far-right populists
Professor James Shields, Aston University
The same is true in Germany. A year before the German elections, Merkel had acknowledged that "the AfD is a challenge for all of us in this house", promising that "situation like we had in the late summer of 2015 can, should and must not repeat itself".
Aston University's Professor James Shields told The Telegraph: "In France, Austria, the Netherlands, Germany and elsewhere these parties have reason to feel optimistic about their prospects for electoral growth and increasing political influence.
"They can continue to put pressure on moderate parties to radicalise their platforms – and there lies the ultimate ambition of far-Right populists, to be the driving force in issue mobilisation and in policy formulation."
 
What does the future hold?
Lawrence Rosenthal, Chair of the Berkeley Center for Right-Wing Studies, said that the underlying conditions that led to rise of populist nationalism - the migrant crisis, Islamist terrorism, the effects of globalisation and widespread political disenchantment - will be with us for a while.
According to polling by Ipsos MORI in July, the majority of people in Italy, Britain, Belgium, Sweden, France, Hungary, Spain and Germany think that immigration has placed too much pressure on public services.
 
He said: "Ironically, the two-party system in the US made it possible for a nationalist Right faction to take over the Republican party and form a government. In Germany, AfD's percentage of the vote means that 84 per cent of Germans were still voting for the conventional parties. Similarly, 65 per cent of voters in France still reject the Front National.
"While this offers a buffer to avoid the result in the American election (or in the binary Brexit vote), the underlying conditions - both economic and cultural - leading to the rise of a radical nationalist and often racist right-wing constituency are not soon to disappear."
These are the conditions that have driven the political movements of the last few years. Right-wing populism has already spread across Europe - with such leaders already in power in countries such as Bulgaria, Poland and Slovakia. 
 
Ten EU countries had a nationalist populist party attract more than one in 10 voters in their last legislative election.
 
The Economist Intelligence Unit's Joan Hoey did note that the road ahead is not without challenges for these parties. 
Popular disaffection will continue to cause political upsets and there is little likelihood of a return to the stable post-war political order
Joan Hoey, Economist Intelligence Unit
"All the major populist parties - the PVV, the FN, the AFD - face personnel and policy challenges. They are likely to remain vehicles for protest votes, but they could just as easily fall away - as the Ukip example shows - if other, mainstream or populist, parties manage to attract the disaffected."
But ultimately she agrees that things aren't going to change overnight.
"Even if some of today's populist movements dissipate or their support dwindles, popular disaffection will continue to cause political upsets and there is little likelihood of a return to the stable post-war political order in Europe."
Telegraph Austria joins new right-wing Eastern bloc confronting the EU's Franco-German powerbase



 
Sebastian Kurz and the Austrian People's Party want to see less EU integration and are likely to push for reform CREDIT: THOMAS KRONSTEINER/GETTY IMAGES EUROPE
 
 
 Justin Huggler, vienna 
16 OCTOBER 2017 • 3:42PM
There have only been warm congratulations so far from European Union leaders for Sebastian Kurz, who is set to become the world’s youngest leader after winning Austrian elections on Sunday. Angela Merkel was among the first to telephone.
But behind the friendly messages, there will be deep disquiet in Berlin and Paris that a right-wing bloc is emerging in central Europe with a very different vision of what the EU should be.
At a time when France and, to a lesser extent Germany want to press ahead with further EU integration in the wake of Britain’s departure, they may find themselves facing a new counterweight.
Mr Kurz’s victorious campaign was centred on a hardline anti-immigration message that aligns Austria closely with its neighbours to the east.

Sebastian Kurz waves to supporters following an election event in Vienna. CREDIT: JOE KLAMAR/AFP
And while he remains committed to the European Union, he has made it clear he wants to limit further integration.
“We need a change of course within the European Union,” he said a few months ago. “The EU needs to withdraw from those areas which can be better regulated at a national level.”
These are messages that will resonate with his neighbours.
The governments of Viktor Orban in Hungary, Beata Szydlo in Poland and Robert Fico in Slovakia all share a deep opposition to letting in more migrants and to what they see as Brussels “meddling” in their domestic affairs.
 
And if the polls are right, Andrej Babiš, a billionaire with a broadly similar message, is set to become prime minister of the Czech Republic in elections this week.

Andrej Babis is expected to win the election for Prime Minister in the Czech Republic next week.CREDIT: MARTIN DIVISEK
Hungary, Poland, the Czech Republic and Slovakia already form the Visegrad Group, in which they push as a single bloc for their vision of Europe.
So far they have been unable to match the weight of larger countries such as France and Germany. They are already facing censure from Brussels over their refusal to take part in an EU scheme to share migrants.
But the signs are that they will find a powerful ally in Mr Kurz. He has already worked with some of them to close the “West Balkan” route to migrants last year — a move that was seen as smaller countries conspiring against Mrs Merkel, and which he made great play of in his election campaoign.
His victory completes the realignment of Austria, which in 2015 was Mrs Merkel’s closest ally over her controversial “open-door” refugee policy.

Sebastian Kurz, pictured with his girlfriend Susanne Thier, arrive at an election victory event in Vienna. CREDIT: LISI NIESNER/BLOOMBERG
There will be even deeper concern over Mr Kurz’s possible coalition allies in the nationalist Freedom Party (FPÖ).
When the Freedom Party previously joined a coalition government in 2000, the EU briefly threatened sanctions against Austria. This time there have been no such dramatics — the line from Brussels is one of calm acceptance.
 
But the Freedom Party’s leader, Heinz-Christian Strache, has been even more critical of EU integration than Mr Kurz, and has recently turned his fire on EU migrants, caling for them to be denied social benefits.
He has also openly called for Austria formally to join the Visegrad Group. “At the moment, all the agreements in the EU are made by France and Germany, and everyone else has to swallow them,” he said last year.
“In a strengthened Visegrad Group I see an opportunity to reform the EU.”
Mr Kurz has made it clear joining the Visegrad Group would be a step too far for him. “We will not be part of an eastern alliance, this question does not arise,” he said last year.
Instead, he said, he wanted Austria to be a “bridge between east and west”. “We are a country that has traditionally had very close ties with Germany, but at the same time has good relations with our eastern neighbours.”
 It is a balancing act that could cause a few headaches for Berlin and Paris in the months ahead.


 
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