European elections: A chance to repel both nationalism and no-deal Brexit

(Credit: European Union)

The results of the coming European Parliament elections of 23-26 May will have an unusually strong and long term impact on the wider political developments of the entire Old continent. There are two good reasons for that. The Europeans, including the Brits, will vote to definitely or not repel nationalism and a devastating no-deal Brexit.

Let’s start with the scandal which hit last week the unrepentant Austrian nationalists and their extreme right-wing and racist Freedom Party (FPÖ). Its leader and until last weekend Vice Chancellor of Austria, Heinz-Christian Strache was caught in a video fraudulently offering government contracts to a Russian oligarch. This was in exchange of Moscow’s ‘help’ for FPÖ to shine in the 2017 legislative election. The film was released by two German media groups.

The Austrian connection

Strache and all Freedom Party ministers serving as junior partners in Chancellor Kurz’s People’s Party government resigned and the country now heads for an early legislative election in September. The issue made headlines all over Europe and is expected to undermine the electoral prospects of all nationalist political groups in this week’s European Parliament elections.

This affair is a strikingly eye-opener. The Austrian far-right nationalist party is exposed as being ready to ‘sell’ their country to foreign money, and more so a Russian oligarch. Undoubtedly, this casts a dark shadow on all extreme right ‘patriot’ parties. The likes of the German AfD, the French National Party of Marine Le Pen and the Italian Lega of Matteo Salvini must now apologize for their covert relations with Putin’s Russia. Even the Brexiteer chauvinist Nigel Farage is now under scrutiny by the European Parliament and British Electoral Commission for receiving illegal financing.

They are all the same

In the case of Marine Le Pen, it was established two years ago that she had received financial support from Moscow. As for Salvini, while there are no proven relations with the Kremlin, there are reports and repeated accusations of his party and him personally being supported by Vladimir Putin.

It’s not by chance then, that the Hungarian autocratic ruler, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán has personally close friendly relations and contacts with the Russian ‘czar’. Coming to the German nationalist extreme right–wing AfD party, half of its leadership and many of its members have unresolved issues with the criminal justice.

Who do the Russians prefer?

Practically all the self portrayed as anti-systemic extreme right nationalist political groups in Europe – and reportedly the US President Donald Trump too – have been actively supported by Moscow. For one thing, it seems that the Russian ruler Putin considers as his allies all those who don’t value the democratic institutions and the rule of law as much they value money.

By the same token, Russia’s foreign policy is proven to secretly or openly finance many political groups and persons in the West and elsewhere. It is particularly those who constitute a significant risk for their own countries. Law and order as we know it in Western Europe was never the strongest point of Russia.

It’s the voters’ turn

It will be rather a surprise then, if the above mentioned European ‘politicians’ and political groups manage to gain a much stronger presence in the European Parliament, enough to threaten the EU institutions. If they do so, Europe is surely going to suffer rather sooner than later.

If this is the case in mainland Europe, the rather certainly looming victory of Nigel Farage in today’s election in Britain may mark the end of Europe as we know it for many decades; a peaceful, safe place giving the many a chance. Fortunately, however, there are strong arguments for a much better scenario. Let’s dig into the public opinion polls for today’s European election in Britain.

Look at the numbers

It’s discouraging seeing 33% of the Brits, responding that they are going to vote for Nigel Farage’s newly established Brexit Party. They have made him the largest party in the country leaving the Tories in the fourth or fifth place and the Labor Party with around 16%. A massive presence in the European Parliament of deputies which are hand-picked by Farage will cost the EU by a lot.

Thank God, though, a more thorough analysis proves that the pro and the anti Brexit parties are not neck and neck. The clearly anti-Brexit parties add up at 37.5% (Scottish National Party, Liberal Democrats, Greens, Change UK, and Plaid Cymru). The clearly pro Brexit groups are Farage’s latest creation and his former construction, the infamous UKIP. Together they add up on 36.1%. However, the Labour Party is at 16.1% and the Conservatives at 8.3%.

Horizontal division

Both those mainstream political parties are deeply divided between pro and anti Brexit. So, undoubtedly, a good part of their 16.6+8.3% must be added to the anti-Brexit side, strengthening thus the movement for a second referendum. This last option seems to be now seriously contemplated by the Prime Minister Theresa May. She promises a new plebiscite, if the MPs vote for her soft Brexit deal. Alas, Brexit still tortures Britain badly, but today’s vote may change a lot.

All in all, the European Parliament 2019 election results will have a strong and long lasting impact on the future of the entire continent and the whole world.

the sting Milestone

Featured Stings

Can we feed everyone without unleashing disaster? Read on

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

Behind the firewall: a discussion on the evolution of cybersecurity in the utility industry

These are the world’s best universities

Africa’s Sahel: Act now before the crisis ‘becomes unmanageable’, urges Grandi

EU Parliament and Council: Close to agreement on the bank resolution mechanism

Humans aren’t made for repetition – it’s time AI took over manufacturing

Forced pregnancy in Italy violated ‘woman’s human right to health’, UN experts rule

3 natural mysteries that could be explained by quantum physics

Traditional knowledge at ‘core’ of indigenous heritage, and ‘must be protected’, says UN Forum

Eurozone: Bankers-politicians rig keeps robbing taxpayers

India is building a high-tech sustainable city from scratch

Forests ‘essential’ for the future, UN agriculture chief spells out in new report

UN rights chief denounces Burundi for ‘belligerent and defamatory’ attack on inquiry team

How India will consume in 2030: 10 mega trends

Amazon on fire: the interference in global health

How tech can lead reskilling in the age of automation

Increased levels of carbon dioxide could reduce brainpower, study finds

The EU’s trading partners: US, China and the rest

MEPs demand an end to migrant deaths across the Mediterranean Sea

Why Indian students are going abroad to become Doctors?

Groundbreaking cancer-fighting drugs now included in updated UN list of essential medicines

We spend half our time at work in meetings – and that’s not necessarily a bad thing

UNICEF chief hopes 2020 will be ‘a year of peace’ for Syria’s children

Climate change recognized as ‘threat multiplier’, UN Security Council debates its impact on peace

European Youth Capital 2018 : Cascais

Italy’s populist government appears determined to drive EU economy and markets into recession

These are the cities where people work the longest hours

How cultural understanding can help in the cultural shock

Three ways batteries could power change in the world

More effort needed to improve equity in education

AI-driven companies need to be more diverse. Here’s why

Around 23 million boys have married before reaching 15; ‘we can end this violation’ says UNICEF chief

This is how much people would pay to use some of the world’s most popular apps

The Irish Presidency bullies the Parliament over EU budget

The best and worst parenting advice I’ve heard, by a leading psychologist

Europe divided: 30 years on from the fall of the Berlin Wall

Safe drinking water, sanitation, are ‘basic human rights’: new UN Water Development report

Von der Leyen on EU long-term budget: our opportunity to make Europe fit for the future

This is why AI has a gender problem

Financial services: Commission sets out its equivalence policy with non-EU countries

Banking Union: Non-performing loans in the EU continue to decline

Amazon: our green is turning to ashes

MWC 2016: IoT experts fret over fragmentation

This is the state of the world’s health, in numbers

“The Belt and Road Initiative aims to promote peace, development and stability”, Ambassador Zhang of the Chinese Mission to EU highlights from European Business Summit 2018

European Youth Forum celebrates 20 years of fighting for youth rights

Cancer is a growing global threat and prevention is key, UN study shows

WHO working to save lives following powerful earthquake in Albania

Chart of the day: These countries have the largest carbon footprints

How next-generation information technologies tackled COVID-19 in China

Libya: Heavy shelling and civilian deaths ‘blatant violation’ of international law – UN envoy

From drone swarms to modified E. Coli: say hello to a new wave of cyberattacks

ECB to play down IMF’s alarms for deflation danger in the EU

South African women’s fury at gender-based attacks spills onto the streets

EU lawmakers vote to reintroduce visas for Americans over “reciprocity principle”

One Hundred Years of Qipao History: from Shanghai to EU

Big world banks to pay $ 4.95bn for cheating customers; Is it a punishment or a gentle caress?

Questions and Answers on issues about the digital copyright directive

This is how AI can help you make sense of the world

Junker for Commission President: What were the stakes in this affair

4 ways blockchain will transform the mining and metals industry

More Stings?

Advertising

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s