OLD PHANTOMS, NEW MENACES: THE EXTREME RIGHT COMES BACK IN EUROPE


The extreme right wing German party, Alternative for Germany (AfD), grows in the most powerful European country throw nationalism, anti-migration, Euro-skepticism and all over the Europe nationalist parties get votes exploiting the difficult economic situation and the migrant crisis.

 

Angela Merkel’s ‘open-door’ policy in Germany’s immigration politics has an increasing popularity of the right-wing parties, which will vote out the CDU and SPD grand coalition in the next 2017 elections. The growing xenophobia and misanthropy born from the German citizen’s insecurity for the future, is the toughest debate happening in Germany at the time. Far right-wing parties successfulness in suggesting an alternative from Merkel’s policy, denotes that the 2017 elections will definitely be hard-fought.

The German citizenship is mainly worried about the flow of immigrants into their country, because for the first time, the right-wing parties have gained a huge amount of support. Populism and right-wing parties, especially extreme ones, have been a ‘taboo’ in Germany because of its Nazi-history.

‘The beginning of the end’ has started for the grand coalition for next year’s state elections. Right wing parties for instance, the AfD (Alternative for the Deutschland) founded by Franke Petry, favourite to win the upcoming elections, have gone from as low as getting only 4,7 percent of the votes to winning seats from Germany’s 16 state parliaments. We could attribute this to the failure of the  German federal government to handle the Eurozone currency crisis. In consequence, the nation has lurched to the right due to the rising anti-immigrant sentiment.

AfD is not the first right-wing party after Second World War, nor the first anti-immigrant party in Germany. In 1960 the neo-Nazi party NPD gained some support when masses of foreign labour came to Germany.  Although AfD, NPD and the republicans share somehow their same ideology in relation to the immigrant policy, AfD has carefully tried to distance itself from the rightwing extremism and labelled itself as a socially respectable unlike NPD. 56-year-old Social Democrat leader, Sigmar Gabriel, said this summer: ‘Everything that these people say, I have already heard…from my own father, who was a Nazi to his last breath’. Also German authorities have put the AfD under official watch, even though they did not do it for NPD or republican parties.

 

Marcel Fratzscher,president of the German Institute fro Economic Research, states that the economic superiority of Germany is indisputable but at the same time, if we look at the socio-economic development ,the Teutonic state is one of the most unequal in the OECD. The growing inequality is only in favour of those who better can fit to the economic development whereas those who fit worse need to get their subsistence from the state.

The huge arrival of migrants feeds the fear of seeing the public aid reduced in order to fulfill the necessities of  migrants. One of the milestones on which the Afd bases its policies; understand the fear of the people and show themselves as the protectors of the national ideals and services by identifying the enemy in the weakest.

Another reason explaining this incredible increase is the failure of the traditional model of communication of the “old politics”. The traditional European system is guilty for getting further from the people’s requests, and extreme right wing parties have been filling up this lack; the new norms of the EU have sometimes damaged the national resources of the member states or simply they have removed a part of the national sovereignty. What happened? the populist and nationalist parties took sides against EU showing a strong Euroskepticism. Think of  the case of Alba Dorata, whose policy is totally against the European Troika and Brussel’s impositions

The phenomenon does not only concern Germany but Europe, which assists to the spreading of the populisms and nationalistic movements.

If we look at other countries, the economic crisis accelerated the process of extremism; the Front National in France, the UKIP movement in the UK and all the nationalist parties of the Balkans. The crisis increased the social differences and cultural distances among different ethnic groups; the fear of possible future terroristic attacks is giving to the French FN the possibility to lead the government.

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