Thursday, April 18

Neglected unrest in the EU

The profound malaise and social discontent in the European Union (EU) by the socio-economic policies and the way in which the rulers act has been revealed once again in the first round of the presidential elections in France. If the governments and the democratic parties do not attend to this discontent, the far right it will continue to accumulate more votes, endangering democracy.

It is not an exclusive phenomenon in France. In Italy, discontent is reflected in an intention to vote of 38% to the ultra parties (Brothers of Italy and the League), which if added to the 13% of the anti-system 5 Star Movement reaches 51%. In Spain, the ultra vox improves its results in each election and already governs with the PP at the regional level. The ultra parties that govern Hungary Y Poland They came to power in 2010 and 2015 out of anger over the economic policies considered unfair by their predecessors. In Portugal, the far-right Chega obtained more than 7% in the last elections.

The disenchantment is also expressed with a growing abstention, which exceeded 68% in the 2020 Romanian elections and that in the last elections it reached 61.5% in Bulgaria, 55.4% in Latvia, 53.5% in Croatia, 52.2% in Latvia, 47.3% in Slovenia and 42, 1% in Greece.

In France, 27.85% of the votes for the president Emmanuel Macronis complemented by the debacle of the Gaullist conservatives of Valerie Pecresse (4.78%) and the Socialists of Anne Hidalgo (1.75%). In front of them, the extreme right (Marine LePen, Eric Zemour and Nicolas Dupont-Aignan) added 32.28% of the votes and the radical left (Unsubmissive France, Communist Party, Anti-Capitalist Party and Workers’ Struggle) achieved another 25.56%.

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Protest vote boom

The anti-establishment parties added 57.84% of the votes, a percentage that rises to 65.6% if the votes of environmentalists and ruralist Jean Lassalle are added. These figures reveal the heightened discontent with Macron and with the Gaullist and Socialist parties, the two forces that have dominated French politics for the last four decades. “The pincers of anger” entitled ‘Le Figaro’ its editorial.

The abandonment by the Gaullists and socialists in their concrete policies of their original social concern has made them lose the vote of the popular layers and the modest middle classpoints out the political scientist Philippe Corcuff, author of the book ‘La Grande Confusion’.

Macron, who in 2017 asked for the help of socialist and left-wing voters to save democracy and stop Le Pen’s ultra threat, later governed very far to the right and earned him the nickname “president of the rich”: abolition of the tax for large financial fortunes, cuts in unemployment insurancedeterioration of public health and education, controversial pension reform plan, cuts in social assistance and housing…

Macron’s assumption of postulates of the extreme right (tough on immigration, expansion of police powers, restrictive security law) has not subtracted votes from ultra candidates. After the revolt of the yellow vestssome measures to cushion the impact of the crisis of the pandemic much more generous than in Spain and Italy they have not made us forget the discontent generated during the five-year period.

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Le Pen and the leftist Jean-Luc Mélenchon (France Insumisa) achieved good results by focusing their electoral campaign on the socioeconomic problems daily life of the population. Le Pen captured 36% of the votes of workers and employeesconsolidating itself as the main option of the workers above Mélenchon (23%-25%), details the Ipsos-Sopra Steria survey. Le Pen was the most voted among the disadvantaged (37%), the popular layers (28%) and the dissatisfied (35%). Le Pen won wide support in rural areas, where the average of more than one daily suicide of farmers reflects the hardships of many farms. Mélenchon imposed himself on the poor populations of the Paris region. Also was the most voted among the population under 35 years (31%-34%)followed by Le Pen (25%-26%).

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crises, the Social inequalitycorruption scandals, the imposition of economic policies from the EU, the feeling of abandonment and that governments and traditional parties ignore citizen complaints are the factors that make the extreme right and the radical left prosper, explains the political scientist Cas Mudde in his books ‘The extreme right today and ‘Populism’.

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