Europe’s far-right launches attacks on neighboring nations

First Press Conference of the new Austrian government. Chancellor Sebastian Kurz (in the middle) and Vice-Chancellor Heinz-Christian Strache (on the left) are accompanied by the government spokesman Peter Launsky-Tieffenthal. Taken 19/12/2017. Austrian Chancellery work, Regina Aigner, Vienna, Austria.

This newspaper had predicted that Europe’s extreme right wing, almost fascist political parties, unable to deliver their phoney promises after reaching government posts, will try to play the aggressive chauvinism card. Old Continet’s’s nations have paid dearly in the past millennia for jingoism and chauvinist violence. However, after many decades of peace in Europe and the Western world it seems that the people have forgotten the destruction nationalist conflicts can inflict upon people.

So, the extreme right political groups now dare disseminating aggressive nationalism. The Old Continent, a narrow place, home to many nations and proud peoples, is unfortunately again prone to conflicts. It’s the immigration problem that has fueled border tensions and the enactment of new walls. Neighbors of other countries are briefly held responsible for letting the immigrants pass. Some EU member states deny any responsibility vis-à-vis the burning problem of immigration and unscrupulous politicians grasp the chance to exploit it, inflaming xenophobia and even racism.

It’s the fascists stupid

The extreme right wing nationalist and openly racist political groups ride freely on the more or less natural reserve of the many, towards the unfortunate and desperate strangers who leave war and destitution in Africa and the Middle East. The outcome is that some few unprincipled and until recently marginal extremists have managed to shift the entire political system to the right, making the racial hatred as their basic platform.

It started in Austria

The xenophobic rhetoric, however, is not enough to turn an obscure political party into a major force. Depending on the electoral system of different countries, when possible, the extreme nationalists vie to participate in government coalitions, while at the same time escalating their inflammatory rhetoric.

Austria is the typical case of all that. The country’s anti-immigration, anti-European, extreme right wing and openly fascist ‘Freedom Party’ last week was accepted by the conservatives to form a coalition government. Sebastian Kurz, the 31 years old new Austrian Chancellor (sworn in last Monday 18 December 2017), President of the center right wing OVP party, formed the country’s new government in coalition with the openly fascist FPÖ party of Heinz-Christian Strache, an avowed admirer of Hitler.

Eyeing ‘South Tyrol’

The very next day, Vienna decided to ‘offer’ Austrian passports to German speaking Italian citizens of the Alto Adige border region. The Austrians call it South Tyrol. The tally was taken by the extreme right wing group ‘Brothers of Italy’, a part of Silvio Berlusconi’s chauvinist opposition block, declaring readiness to protect ‘mother Italy’ from the Austrian ‘invaders’. Not to forget that Austria voted on the referendum of 10 April 1938 with the unbelievable percentage of 99.73% to join Hitler’s Germany, approving the infamous Anschluss (annexation).

Aggressive nationalism can’t only create conflict with the neighbors. It deeply splits small and big nations. The British Brexiteers with their false arguments about the paradise outside the European Union, have brought their country to a sorry state, deeply divided between ‘Brexiteers’ and ‘Bremainers’.

In Spain, a bunch of arrivistes riding on Catalan nationalism led to the Barcelona-Madrid feud, which nearly brought the country to her knees. Extreme right-wing, racist close to fascism political parties are represented in the parliaments of Sweden, Finland, Holland, Greece and elsewhere.

Poland, Hungary, Czech Republic

In Hungary, Prime Minister Victor Orban, and in Poland Law and Justice governing party President, Jarosław Kaczyński are not less dangerous for Europe than the new Austrian junior government partner Freedom Party. In this company one may add now Andrej Babiš the newly elected billionaire Prime Minister of the Czech Republic. He was elected on an anti-immigration, xenophobic, nationalist and populist ticket and was sworn in on 6 December.

Europe, however, is not alone in bowing to charlatans. The US is already victim of this dangerous trend. Extremism though is not new in America. Extreme right politicians supported by religious jingoist groups and the super conservative ‘Tea Parties’ were never rare in local, state government and federal representation (US Congress), especially in the middle west and south.

Count Trump in

Along the these lines, Donald Trump the dangerously unpredictable American President didn’t hesitate to inflame the Middle East by declaring the entire Jerusalem area as the capital of Israel. By the same token, he threatens East Asia and the Pacific with total war, with his aggressive escalation of the North Korea crisis. Trump has cut off from this hot issue Rex Tillerson his Foreign Secretary, because the latter proposes a de-escalation of the mess, through direct contacts with the North Korean rulers. Trump told Tillerson not to lose his time with diplomacy.

In conclusion, the Western democracies seem to have entered a dangerous path. The many ‘left behinds’ after twenty years of globalization, have become an erratically drifting part of society. Up to now, they have become a feeding ground for xenophobic right wing vultures. What if the many bite the bait of more active aggression, towards who knows which enemies?

 

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