Sunday, May 25, 2014

European elections (1)

For those of us who see the current austerity policies in the eurozone and in the EU more generally as disastrous, the percentage of the clearly pro-Europe but anti-austerity votes in this weekend's European Parliament elections is disappointing, if not actually that surprising. The fact that the far-right, anti-Europe parties in Britain and France (UK Independence Party and Marine Le Pen's National Front) came in first place in those countries is a big deal.

According to this projections chart from BBC News, the conservatives/Christian Democrats came in first at 28%; the Social Democrats at 21%, "Other" which would include the UKIP and the French National Front at 21%. The two pro-Europe but anti-austerity parties, the Greens and the European Left, came in fifth and sixth, respectively, with a combined 15%. The Christian Democrats, the Social Democrats and the Liberal party are all pro-Europe and pro-austerity, and they collectively pulled 58%. So there's little hope this election will be seen in Berlin as any kind of impediment to continuing with the austericide economic program. Alexis Tsipras' Left Party did come in a clear first place in Greece, the country most damaged by the austerity policies so far. In Italy, the ruling pro-austerity Social Democrats got 40%, the pro-Europe/anti-austerity Five Star Movement 22%.

Depression conditions encouraging the growth of far-right parties in Europe: who could ever have foreseen such a thing? (Duh!)

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