Concerns about a populist resurgence in the European Union have been reignited after the strong showing for anti-migration, anti-establishment parties Italy’s recent elections. Italy is the third-largest economy in the 28-member union.
“The outcome of the elections could not be farther away from what the European Commission, as well as most other E.U. governments, were hoping for,” said European think tank VoteWatch.
Neither of the two anti-establishment, euroskeptic parties, the Five Star Movement and the League, won a clear majority, but they received the largest proportion of votes and at least one will likely sit in the next government. A coalition between them is not out of the question either.
Italy’s Innovation and Economic Development Centre called the result “the greatest affirmation of anti-establishment parties in the panorama of Western Europe since the post-war period.”’
Italy was not an isolated case, it underlined, noting that similar economic and social concerns have fueled the success of anti-establishment parties in countries such as Germany and Austria.
On a visit to Italy, President Trump’s former chief strategist Steve Bannon told the Swiss newspaper Die Weltwoche that the result was “a populist victory and should send a massive signal to the permanent political class in Rome, and more importantly to the permanent political class in Brussels that people want change.”
Migration is seen as the major issue souring public sentiment towards the E.U., in Italy and elsewhere. “In the face of migratory flows, the E.U. has not lived up to its calling in regards to national sovereignty,” French European Parliament member Jean Arthuis wrote on his Twitter feed. “Unable to get out of the Dublin agreement, Italy has suffered the consequences.”
The so-called Dublin Regulation stipulates that the country where a migrant first applies for asylum is responsible for dealing with the claim.
Italy has shouldered the brunt of the influx of migrants from the Middle East and Africa in recent years. French President, Emanuel Macron conceded that the election outcome in Italy showed that fighting for “great ideas” was ineffective without first taking migration more seriously.
Germany’s populist far right Alternative für Deutschland (AfD) has meanwhile won sufficient support to enter the Bundestag as leader of the opposition, overtaking the Social Democrats to become the second most popular political party.
Elsewhere in Europe, too, right-wing nationalist parties are enjoying steady popularity levels due to anti-migration and euroskeptic sentiment, particularly in eastern member-states such as Poland, the Czech Republic, and Hungary.
In a speech in Budapest on Tuesday, Hungarian President Viktor Orbán said no migrant should be allowed into the country, and “everyone actively involved in organizing immigration” should be banned. Orbán’s Fidesz party is seeking a third consecutive term in upcoming parliamentary elections.
In Poland, the conservative nationalist Law & Justice party has ruled since 2015, modelling itself on Fidesz, while in the Czech Republic, President Milos Zeman was re-elected in late January on an increasingly hardline anti-migration message. The country took in just 12 refugees last year. Zeman has called for a referendum on Czech membership in the E.U. and NATO in the past.
Perhaps most importantly, these populist leaders work together. In January, for example, Orbán said during a visit by Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki that Hungary would support Poland’s anti-immigration stance by vetoing any move by the E.U. to penalize Warsaw.
Its interesting to watch the angels hold back the winds of strife as they often do by undermining the very goals of the globalists who are working against heaven. Eventually, globalization will succeed enough to enforce worship laws on all nations.
“And all the dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the lamb slain from the foundation of the world.” Revelation 13:8