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!)
Tags: austerity economics, ep elections 2014, eu, european union, france, greece