The news coming out of Europe points to the rise in far right politics….extreme politics….
Let us step into the “Way Back Machine”……..whoosh bang pop!…….As we step out of the machine we find ourselves in post WW1 Europe….the continent has been totally devastated by years of war…..the economy sucks…..and the rise of far right politicians ………first in Italy….the Kingdom of Italy was forced to give up all claims to the territories it had help for 100 years…and then there was labor unrest….then a far right politician steps up and promises calm, good business atmosphere and strength….next stop is Germany……..the country has hit hard by the war and was forced to pay reparations this made the country even more unstable and then came the Depression and things went to Hell in a hurry…….and then a far right politician steps up…….with a program of xenophobia and jobs and a return to glory…..and that is a quick tour of the only two successes that the extreme right has had…….
But wait! There is a new day dawning!
The is a rising tide of anti-immigrants and anti-EU on the continent……..at least 9 countries have a rise in far right extremism…….
Front National (FN)
Central Figure: Marine Le Pen
Ideology: The FN opposes immigration, the welfare state, and the European Union. They previously advocated sending non-European immigrants back to their countries of origin, but now they reserve such treatment for foreign-born criminals.
Party of Freedom (Partij voor de Vrijheid, PVV)
Central Figure: Geert Wilders
Ideology: The Party of Freedom advocates closing the border to Muslim immigrants, banning the Koran, instituting a “head rag tax,” and taking citizenship away from Dutch Muslims. They also want to place restrictions on immigrants from within Europe. Wilders and his party are Eurosceptics, wishing for greater national identity and less involvement from Brussels. They opposed Dutch participation in the Greek bailouts. Wilders staged a publicity stunt at the time, bringing a huge ‘drachma’ note to the Greek embassy in The Hague.
True Finns (Perussuomalaiset)
Central Figure: Timo Soini
Ideology: The True Finns have called Brussels “the heart of darkness.” Central to their ideology is that Finns should not participate in bailing out “wasteful countries” such as Greece and Portugal.
Given the name of their party, it is no surprise that they run on a xenophobic platform. They want to make it more difficult to acquire Finnish nationality or claim asylum in Finland. Their solution to declining birthrates is to encourage young women to study less so that they can give birth to more Finnish children. They oppose abortion and homosexuality.
“They suffered immigration, now they live on reservations!”/Umberto Bossi
Northern League (Lega Nord)
Central Figure: Umberto Bossi
Ideology: The Lega Nord seeks greater autonomy for Northern Italy, which it calls “Padania.” They sometimes even call for secession from Italy. Fiscal federalism is in the interest of North, which is richer than the South. Broadly, they support smaller-government and lower taxes.
The League opposes immigration from outside of Europe and from Romany (Gypsy) peoples within. They openly antagonize Muslims. One member once threw a pig’s head into the future site of a mosque, thus making it unclean.
They are generally socially conservative on issues such as abortion.
Switzerland (not an EU Member State)
“To Create Security– My Home, Our Switzerland”
Swiss People’s Party (Schweizerische Volkspartei – SVP)
Central Figure: Christoph Blocher
Ideology: The Swiss People’s Party is thoroughly against Switzerland joining the European Union. They want low taxes, a strong army, and very limited immigration. The party sent a strong message in 2009 when they sponsored a referendum against the construction of new minarets. 57% of Swiss voters approved the referendum. The four existing minarets will not be affected by the law. The SVP’s next initiative would expel foreign-born criminals from the country.
Denmark People’s Party (Dansk Folkeparti, DF)
Central Figure: Pia Kjaersgaard
Ideology: Their platform does not reject the norms of social democracy, supporting programs such as healthcare. What mainly sets them apart from the Liberals and Social Democrats is their obsession with border security and their feelings towards immigrants.
According to the party program, “Denmark is not an immigrant-country and never has been. Thus we will not accept transformation to a multi-ethnic society. Denmark belongs to the Danes and its citizens must be able to live in a secure community founded on the rule of law, which develops along the lines of Danish culture.”
The Danish People’s Party helped make Denmark’s immigration laws the toughest in Europe. The party opposed Denmark’s entry in to the European Union to begin with, and won a crucial victory this month when Denmark (controversially) reinstated border controls. This, of course, flies in the face of the Schengen Agreement that allows for easy inter-European border-crossing.
Heinz-Christian Strache on the campaign trail.
Freedom Party of Austria (FPÖ) and Alliance for the Future of Austria (BZÖ)
Central Figures: Heinz-Christian Strache and Josef Bucher
Ideology: Both the FPÖ and BZÖ have been led by Jörg Haider, an extreme rightist widely known as a neo-Nazi and anti-Semite. Both parties campaign chiefly on an anti-immigration platform, but their party programs appeal to populists and libertarians was well. They both support low taxes, limited business regulation, and direct-democracy in the form of referenda. The FPÖ was once a pan-Germanist pro-European party. They are now increasingly nationalist and Eurosceptic. They oppose Turkish membership to the EU. Neither party endorsed the Lisbon Treaty.
The BZÖ was formed in 2005 when Haider left the Freedom Party. Their platform is similar to that of the FPÖ.
Barbara Rosencranz, the FPÖ’s candidate for president in 2010 made waves when she suggested that Austria’s banning of pro-Nazi speech should be repealed.
Norway (not a member of the EU)
Siv Jensen at a Progress Party Rally
Progress Party (Framstegspartiet, FrP)
Central Figure: Siv Jensen
Ideology: The Progress party was founded as an anti-tax libertarian party, but today they are a mainstream populist anti-immigration party. They argue that immigration is the root cause of crime and strain on the very welfare state that they want to pare down. The Progress Party wants to tighten immigration policy down to only accepting a limited number of refugees.
They do not explicitly oppose EU membership for Norway. They would prefer to join the EU if a referendum on membership succeeds. The ruling Norwegian Labor Party favors joining the EU with or without a referendum.
Central Figure: Jimmie Åkesson, Björn Söder
Ideology: The Sweden Democrats’ slogan is “Keep Sweden Swedish” and their platform does not disappoint. Like most of the right-wing populist parties in Europe, the Sweden Democrats are mostly known for anti-immigrant nationalism. They call for a 90% reduction in immigration into Sweden. Unlike other right-wing parties such as the Progress Party in Norway, the Sweden Democrats are not interested in dismantling Sweden’s generous welfare state. But like the Danish People’s Party, they wish to roll back the Schengen agreement and re-introduce border controls.
Now that there is a growing far right ideology….I look for an organization to pop up so that they will have a common goal and a common plan…..it depends on the people of each country….but this is a movement that is growing…..will it get hijacked and morph into the days of the 1920′s and 30′s?
News Update: Since I pout this draft together there has been a few developments in this situation…….First, In his attempt to hold office, French Prez Sarkozy moved Right and in doing so gave the right extreme party National Front and in road into the Parliament…..second Greece with all its problems has just voted and the outcome was a bit of a surprise…..
THE Greek neo-Nazi Golden Dawn party will enter parliament for the first time in nearly 40 years, exit polls showed as ballots closed in an early election that could derail the country’s reforms.
The party is calculated to win between six and eight percent of the vote on rising immigration and crime concerns, comfortably above the three-percent threshold required for to enter parliament.
The group reacted jubilantly and claimed the result would translate into more than 25 deputies in the 300-seat parliament, a stunning blow to mainstream parties.
Greece was plunged into fresh political chaos today after no party emerged with enough votes to form a government following yesterday’s election.
If a government committed to continuing the austerity measures cannot be formed, then the future of Greece’s euro membership, and the fate of the currency itself, could once again be at stake.
The country faces days of political uncertainty as the two current coalition partners – conservative New Democracy party and Socialist Pasok – scramble to form a coalition.
The Greek election process is in chaos just like the rest of the country. The far right is making in-roads into politics….but how will it play out?