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.

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

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

Trade wars won’t fix globalization. Here’s why

Bram in Colombia

Why do medical curricula shouldn’t neglect the Sustainable Development Goals

European Union presents its progress towards sustainable development

UN rights chief Bachelet appeals for dialogue in Sudan amid reports ‘70 killed’ in demonstrations

Yemen hospital airstrike under investigation amid resurgence of deadly cholera

UN’s Grandi slams ‘toxic language of politics’ aimed at refugees, migrants

UN chief condemns suspected Boko Haram attacks targeting Eid al-Fitr celebrations in Nigeria

How can entrepreneurship tackle the migration crisis in the EU?

What the US and the world can expect from the 8 November election?

Circular Plastics Alliance: 100+ signatories commit to use 10 million tons of recycled plastic in new products by 2025

MEPs want to ensure sufficient funding for Connecting Europe’s future

From low-earth orbit, ‘envoys’ of humanity join UN space forum

Talent, not technology, is the key to success in a digital future

Workplace bullies could now go to jail in South Korea

Ending extreme poverty crucial to sustainable future for all: UN chief

The importance of collaboration in the digital economy

There isn’t a single country on track to make the UN’s targets for gender equality

‘Once lost, hearing doesn’t come back,’ World Health Organization warns on World Hearing Day

UN chief welcomes G20 commitment to fight climate change

‘Great Pacific Garbage Patch’ clean-up project launches trial run: UN Environment

A Sting Exclusive, the European Commissioner for Energy Günther Oettinger writes for the Sting on “EU Industry: a major energizer”

The ECB still protects the banks at the expense of the EU taxpayers

Light at the end of the Eurozone tunnel

Happens now in Brussels: Green Week sets the EU and global climate policy agenda

3 ways we are making an impact on plastic pollution

OECD joins with Argentina to fight financial crime

Militias force nearly 2,000 to leave Libyan capital’s largest shelter for internally-displaced: UNHCR

Are e-cigarettes as safe as they claim to be?

G20 World Exclusive Interview: “The world, especially emerging economies and developing countries, require a more sustainable and quality development”, the Spokesperson of Japan underscores live from Antalya Turkey

The EU Commission lets money market funds continue the unholy game of banks

Capital markets selloff: The financial moguls send messages to monetary authorities

‘From farm to plate’, first-ever World Food Safety Day demonstrates the need to take unsafe food off the menu

The world’s economy is only 9% circular. We must be bolder about saving resources

Romanian Presidency priorities discussed in committees

7 key authors from Switzerland’s literary scene

EU’s Mogherini visits Turkey “to step up engagement” and highlight interests

Mental health at stake: A silent epidemic of 21st century

New EU rules to boost crowdfunding platforms and protect investors

We can meet the SDGs using the wisdom of crowds. Here’s how

Greenhouse gas levels in atmosphere break another record, UN report shows

UN refugee agency ‘deeply shocked’ at stabbing death of ‘deeply courageous’ Polish mayor

A day that Berlin and Brussels would remember for a long time

EU budget for 2019: do more for the young, SMEs and the climate, urge MEPs

On International Youth Day the European Youth Forum calls for true youth participation

Mergers: Commission opens in-depth investigation into joint ventures proposed by Boeing and Embraer

European Commission statement on the adoption of the new energy lending policy of the European Investment Bank Group

Lagarde’s metamorphoses, not a laughing matter

Why Africa must be ready to take the quantum leap

Facebook: MEPs demand a full audit by EU bodies to assess data protection

Impossible Brexit options: WTO or new referendum?

Rule of Law: Commission launches infringement procedure to protect the independence of the Polish Supreme Court

From DIY editing to matchmaking by DNA: how human genomics is changing society

These are the world’s healthiest nations

Amidst high trade tensions and policy uncertainty, UN cuts economic growth forecast

Public climate finance to developing countries is rising

Water is a growing source of global conflict. Here’s what we need to do

Air quality: Commission takes action to protect citizens from air pollution

One small flight for a drone, one ‘big leap’ for global health

3 things the G20 can do to save the World Trade Organization

More Stings?

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