Sme - Slovakia | Tuesday, April 24, 2012
Peter Morvay on the rise of populism in Europe
The recent elections in several European countries show that populism is rapidly gaining ground, commentator Peter Morvay writes in the liberal daily Sme, and analyses the latest results: "Taken together, the far right and far left managed to secure a third of the votes in the first round of the French presidential elections. Now they are forcing Hollande and Sarkozy to address their issues. One of the far-left organisers of last weekend's protests in Prague said he felt inspired by the French Left Front candidate Mélenchon. Opposing the growing left-wing populist block are quarrelling centre-right coalitions with nothing better to offer than reforms and budget discipline. That makes them less popular, all the more so when they're corrupt. In Slovakia such a coalition has just dissolved, and things don't look good for the one in the Czech Republic. ... The government is tottering in the Netherlands because Geert Wilders refused to go along with cuts that run counter to his populism. That will stand him well in the coming elections. But neither the French, the Czech nor the Dutch populists could solve the crisis even if they did rise to power. On the contrary, they'll only make matters worse. Sad times lie ahead for Europe."
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